• The 10 best new vinyl releases this week (13th August)

    By | August 13, 2018

    Twin Peaks demos, an acid house tribute, Moog synth musings.

    In singles, we’ve got a washed out mini-album from Silent Harbour, a swirling DJ Bubbles acid tribute, and hallucinogenic new age sequences from Dublin.

    On the albums front, Dub Surgeon’s long lost LP is back, Chris Watson unearths a treasure trove of sonic synth phenomenas, and Ramzi serves up island-ready electronic zings.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    Conforce pres. Silent Harbour

    Noctiluca

    (Echochord)

    Listen / Buy

    Sometimes in life it’s great to know what you are getting. The Echocord label can be relied on for glistening elegant dub techno. In mini-LP Noctiluca, Conforce side project Silent Harbour presents grainy, washed out, often beatless pieces to drift out to.


    Paranoid London

    The Boombox Affair

    (Paranoid London)

    Listen / Buy

    Acid house duo Paranoid London originally intended to make this record as collaboration with DJ and LGBTQ+ activist Bubbles Bubblesynski. After Bubbles was killed, they decided to create the track using existing audio. A swirling, irreverent, 9-minute acid tribute, all proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ+ friendly charities in San Francisco.


    Madonnatron

    ‘Mermaids’

    (Trashmouth Records)

    Listen / Buy

    The lovely Madonnatron return with a killer single in the shape of ‘Mermaids’ – all swirly and dark, with just the right amount of fuzz around the edges. On the flip, they turn their attention to a Gainsbourg / Birkin classic, reworked in their own way, for this limited 7″.


    Melly

    The Beds

    (Major Problems)

    Listen / Buy

    Dublin’s Major Problems make a belated start to 2018 with this killer EP from label favourite DJ Après Ski, appearing this time under his Melly alias. Staying true to the MPR mantra of next-gen sonics, Melly pushes the boundaries with a quartet of 5-D electronics and unconventional club sounds. Toying with new age tropes, hallucinogenic sequences and watery wave forms, the producer fuses dub techno and broken beat, explores sunrise euphoria and generally twists our collective melon.


    Julee Cruise

    Three Demos

    (Sacred Bones)

    Listen / Buy

    When considering the realms of ethereal pop music and revolutionary soundtrack work, these three pieces that Julee Cruise recorded in collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch are truly iconic. Though the final versions featured on Cruise’s debut album and were used in both Blue Velvet and throughout Twin Peaks’ initial run, here we have stripped back, and highly atmospheric demo versions of ‘Falling’, ‘Floating’ and ‘The World Spins’.


    LPs


    Ramzi

    Phobiza “Amor Fati” Vol. 3

    (FATi Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Though its cover might make you think you’re about to listen to ambient acid-bat-rat field squarks and squeaks, what lies in store on the latest instalment of Ramzi’s Phobiza “Amor Fati” Vol. 3 is a different story. According to Ramzi, aka Phoebé Guillemot, Phobiza is a mythological island locale filled with flora, fauna and animals of all varietals. Consider it a hazy suite of tropical-hued, electronic zips and zings, that will see you through long summer days into blissed out emerald twilights.


    Teenage Fanclub

    Bandwagonesque

    (Sony)

    Listen / Buy

    This week we got five timely re-issues from the always excellent Teenage Fanclub, and this pips the other four to the post. 1991’s Bandwagonesque is stuffed full of killer tunes, killer riffs and killer harmonies in all their day-glo magic.


    Dub Surgeon

    The Lost Future

    (Ark To Ashes)

    Listen / Buy

    Taking the submersible out for a spin, Abu Dhabi imprint Ark To Ashes enjoy a little deep sea exploration here, returning to the surface with Dub Surgeon’s long lost LP The Lost Future. Dub Surgeon’s sole LP was recorded around two decades ago, and engineered by minimal maverick Riccardo Villalobos. It twists dub into a lysergic realm of hazy sound design, echo-drenched percussion and skanking guitars buried under a thick film of tape hiss, until you’re hearing the distant rumble of a sound system through a tropical storm. Presumed destroyed when a studio fire engulfed the master tapes, this masterpiece finally sees the light of day, restored from a forgotten demo and ready to receive the acclaim it deserves.


    Kathryn Joseph

    From When I Wake The Want Is

    (Rock Action)

    Listen / Buy

    Kathryn Joseph’s music sounds soaking wet – as if it was made after a long walk on Scotland’s rain sodden hills. Her voice is a unique, sometimes wordless, Björk-like thing. Rather than electronica, Joseph uses organic pianos and lightly brushed drums in a sort of pastoral blur that recalls Radiohead at their most windswept.


    Chris Watson

    Locations, Processed (Blue TB7 Series)

    (Moog Recordings Library)

    Listen / Buy

    Chris Watson’s back catalogue of field recording work is a veritable treasure trove of sonic phenomena, and on this rare vinyl release his urban-environment recordings meet the processing power of Moog’s legendary System 55 modular synthesiser. True to the stunning clarity and subtlety in approach that Watson is renowned for, this is not an “all oscillators blazing” affair, as Watson utilises the system sparingly, accentuating these highly immersive sounds whilst keeping them firmly rooted to their origins. Tailor-made for deeper listening.

  • Watch the video for Soundwalk Collective’s ‘Sarah’, shot in Jean-Luc Godard’s personal archive

    By | May 31, 2018

    ‘Sarah’ is taken from new album What We Leave Behind.

    Audio-visual group Soundwalk Collective have been given access to legendary French film-maker Jean-Luc Godard’s personal archive of film, outtakes and reel-to-reel tapes to craft their new album What We Leave Behind.

    Released on 18th May, the group have shared the last of three videos shot within the archive, providing a mesmeric, Baraka-like look at the historical audio ephemera which form the basis of each composition.

    You can watch the previous videos for ‘L’impossible du possible’ here and Ricardo Villalobos’ remix of ‘Death Is The Enemy’ here.

    Speaking of the project in a recent VF feature, Soundwalk Collective co-founder and film-maker Stephan Crasneanscki said: “We went into the archives, scanned most of the tapes and recomposed and recut a sound piece… On some of these you could hear Godard himself directing actors or actresses just after the cut, or preparing the actor or the director of photography just before the recording gets lost.”

    What emerges is an impressionistic series of compositions that channel these sonic fragments with processes akin to how Godard used to deploy sound in his films.

    Order your copy of What We Leave Behind here, and the remix EP, featuring contributions from Ricardo Villalobos, Jan Jelinek and Petre Inspirescu, here.

  • Unravelling the archive: The radical sound of Jean-Luc Godard

    By | May 16, 2018

    Drawn from the legendary film director’s personal archives, Soundwalk Collective return to the source material of new album What We Leave Behind to discuss the role of music in Jean-Luc Godard’s films and how they’ve channelled his processes into the spirit of the record.

    When he was making 1962’s Vivre Sa Vie – which follows Nana over 12 episodes as she leaves her husband and young daughter, attempts to become an actress, and ends up turning to prostitution – Jean-Luc Godard wanted to get as close to reality as possible. Made at a time when visual naturalisation was catching on, it’s what he did with sound that was particularly innovative.

    The sound design of the entire piece – everything from the dialogue to street-noise and door slams – was recorded directly in the hotels and bars in which the scenes were shot. The only post-produced sound is the music, a Michel Legrand piece, which repeats over and over without coming to a climax. Godard was presenting sounds as authentic as his images, disrupting the idea that audio needs to be ‘finished’ using foley or otherwise. Like Pierre Schaeffer’s musique concrète, Godard understood that very ‘real’ sounds could restructure our expectations of cinema.

    In a conversation with Wim Wenders, published in 1992, Godard described his approach to sound: “I start at the cutting table by looking at the pictures with no sound. Then I play the sound without the pictures. Only then do I try them together, the way they were recorded. Sometimes I have a feeling there’s something wrong with a scene — and maybe different sound will fix it. Then I might replace a bit of dialogue with dog barks, say. Or I put in a sonata. I experiment with things until I’m happy”. It’s this approach, that sound is a separate entity to images, and above all that sound is capable of ‘fixing’ a scene, that makes Godard’s use of sound so nuanced.

    Godard has made over 120 films since his debut when he emerged in the ‘60s as a nouvelle vague director. From À Bout de Souffle, his 1960 breakthrough, with its slightly out-of-sync, sometimes garish sound effects, to 2010’s Film Socialisme, for which all the sound was captured on mobile phones, sound is never an afterthought. In the same way that he pushes visual boundaries – such as his trademark jump-shots – he is consistently reconsidering what sound means in cinema. 1968’s Un Film Commes Les Autres, a film which consisted of the same 54-minute long successions of images back to back, but with different soundtracks, emphasised that for the director, sound is a structuring principle. Even small changes in sound can completely redefine a film.

    With Godard, we even get the sense that he treats soundtracks as standalone pieces of art, distinct from the films they accompany. Speaking at Cannes in 1990 – the festival which he brought to a stand-still fifty years ago in solidarity with protesters across Europe – he said, “my film without the sound will be improved. However, if you ‘see’ the soundtrack without the images, it will have an even greater impact.”

    It’s this audio-vision that drew Soundwalk Collective to Godard’s work. The NYC and Berlin based group were invited to aurally respond to Godard’s personal archive of shot film, reel-to-reels and historical ephemera, which reveal intimate moments before and after the camera rolls. The result is a six-track LP titled What We Leave Behind accompanied by a remix EP featuring reworks from Ricardo Villalobos, Jan Jelinek and Petre Inspirescu.

    For Soundwalk Collective co-founder Stephan Crasneanscki, Godard is a master of 20th century cinema because of the way he juxtaposes sound with image. “Part of Godard’s genius was that sound was thought of in the same value and the same moments as the image, so it was not a post-effect, it was a very kind of pre-existing creative tool that was as strong as the visual tools.” When Crasneanscki met François Musy, Godard’s sound engineer, and heard that Godard planned to get rid of 50 years of archives, it seemed necessary to make some kind of response to the material.

    Whether collaborating with Nan Goldin and Patti Smith or presenting work in Berghain, Soundwalk’s practice centres around physicality. They create concept albums using source material from specific locations, using microphones to pick up ambient movements (like Godard himself), and they present ambitious sound installations and live performances. In this case though, geographical space has been replaced by what Crasneanscki defines as ‘sonic and memory landscapes’.

    Whilst the project is an exploration of Godard’s use of sound in cinema, it’s also a meditation on the notion of archiving itself. Crasneanscki sees the archives, as a “sleeping memory” of not only Godard, but everyone who has worked on his films. Mistakes, as he points out, and the material artists chose to edit out of their work, can tell us as much as the work they chose to show. The archive tapes consisted of out-takes, and also of offcuts, which are the extra seconds that the sound recorder will capture either side of each take. These “mistake tapes” are valuable because of the “insights they give us to Jean-Luc Godard”. For Crasneanscki the project is a way of “somehow editing and giving new life back into Godard.”

    Crasneanscki explains how they began to carve away at the material until it became a sound piece: “Deutschlandradio financed and produced the first piece, which we approached in a very anthropological way. We went into the archives, scanned most of the tapes and recomposed and recut a sound piece. This was a cut and paste piece, that basically collects and tells the story of fragments, 20, 15, or 30 seconds, or a minute maximum, of different leftover tapes. On some of these you could hear Godard himself directing actors or actresses just after the cut, or preparing the actor or the director of photography just before the recording gets lost.”

    The initial piece was a 50-minute collage, developed into a more “spontaneous reinterpretation of the sound.” Soundwalk began recomposing what they had been working with, creating loops and making different treatments of the raw recordings, which resulted in “a more harmonious, ambient kind of composition out of the material.”

    What We Leave Behind then, is “a more subjective, more impressionist, more contemporary experience of our journey in those archives oevr the last five years.” In the end, the music is a very distant relative to Godard’s soundtracks, but the process of creating it is reminiscent of Godard’s own process. In this way the director has been, as Crasneanscki describes him, one of those artists who “basically allowed the generation behind them to push further those frontiers, those doors, that have already been opened by them,” and “steal” what they’ve created in order to produce something new.

    What We Leave Behind is out on 18th May via The Vinyl Factory, with the remixes following on 25th May. Pre-order the former here and the latter here.

  • Soundwalk Collective explore legendary director Jean-Luc Godard’s personal archive for new album

    By | May 2, 2018

    Accompanied by a remix EP featuring Ricardo Villalobos, Jan Jelinek and Petre Inspirescu.

    Audio-visual group Soundwalk Collective have been given access to legendary French film-maker Jean-Luc Godard’s personal archive of film, historical ephemera and reel-to-reel tapes to craft their new album What We Leave Behind.

    Featuring stage directions and on-set asides to rehearsals, false stars and outtakes, the recordings reveal the moments before and after the camera rolls, and provide a fascinating insight into the working process of one of the twentieth century’s great auteurs. It comes fifty years to the day since he, Francois Truffaut and Claude Lelouche publicly announced their closing of the 1968 Cannes Film Festival in solidarity with the workers and students protesting across the country.

    Speaking about the archive, Soundwalk Collective’s Stephan Crasneanscki said: “There are boxes filled with sounds, words, chaos, and also silence. For Godard sound is a musical composition and when I began listening to the tapes and heard his voice between takes, it was like little bits of life…each sound has its own value.”

    Released on 18th May, the 6-track album will also be accompanied by a remix 12″, featuring rewokrs by Ricardo Villalobos, Jan Jelinek and Petre Inspirescu which follows on the 25th May.

    Both the EP and LP feature exclusive imagery from inside Godard’s archive and is accompanied by a series of short films. The LP includes a conversation between Crasneanscki and Jean-Luc Godard’s sound engineer François Musy, printed on a translucent paper insert.

    Pre-order the album here and the remix EP here ahead of their release.

    LP Tracklist:

    Side A

    A1. La Philosophie
    A2. L’Impossible Du Possible
    A3. Champ Contrechamp

    Side B

    B1. Que La Poésie Soit D’abord Résistance
    B2. Sarah
    B3. Death Is The Enemy

    EP Tracklist:

    A: Death Is The Enemy (Ricardo Villalobos Remix)
    AA1: L’Impossible Du Possible (Jan Jelinek Remix)
    AA2: Death Is The Enemy (Petre Inspirescu Remix)

  • Tony Allen reworked by Motor City Drum Ensemble and Ricardo Villalobos for Dekmantel anniversary EPs

    By | February 14, 2018

    Afrobeat remix heat.

    Dekmantel is releasing the final EPs in its 10-part anniversary series, featuring new versions of Tony Allen’s afrobeat track ‘Asiko (In A Silent Mix)’, out this Spring.

    On Dekmantel 10 Years 10.1 Ricardo Villalobos delivers a 29 minute, dub-fused version, split across two sides:

    Dekmantel 10 Years 10.2 serves up a funky, horn and synth-fuelled rework from Motor City Drum Ensemble on the A-side, alongside the original version on the flip:

    The two-part EP release culminates Dekmantel’s 10 year anniversary EP series, which included excellent tracks from Legowelt, Shanti Celeste, Lena Willikens, Awanto 3 and more.

    Pre-order a copy of Dekmantel 10 Years 10.1 here ahead of its 26th March release, Dekmantel 10 Years 10.2 here ahead of its 30th April release, and check out the track lists below.

    Tracklist

    Dekmantel 10 Years 10.1

    Side A

    A1. Tony Allen – Asiko (In A Silent Mix) (Ricardo Villalobos Remix Part 1)

    Side B

    B1. Tony Allen – Asiko (In A Silent Mix) (Ricardo Villalobos Remix Part 2)

    Dekmantel 10 Years 10.2

    Side A

    A1. Tony Allen – Asiko (In A Silent Mix) (Motor City Drum Ensemble Remix)

    Side B

    B1. Tony Allen – Asiko (In A Silent Mix) (Original Mix)

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (8th August)

    By | August 8, 2016

    10bestcover

    Villalobos, Mister Saturday Night and Rhythm Section soundtrack the summer.

    It’s mid-August and this week’s picks know it. Bringing the summer heat we have a rack of scorching 12″s from Hidden Spheres on Rhythm Section, Keita Sano on MSN and a new one from ol’ Rich.

    Over in the album section, there’s a Nigerian-dub-disco bomb from Geraldo Pino that’s going for nearly $6,000 cheaper than the original, the newest from Hieroglyphic Being (photographed beautifully last week) and a Bongload of Elliott Smith’s Figure 8.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Ricardo Villalobos

    Detroit Heroes

    (Raum Musik)

    Listen / Buy

    It’s been a while since we heard anything from ol’ Rich but he’s back with one of his finest in ages. His third release for Raum is quite simply astounding. ‘Alterverwalter’ has been around for a while in his sets and causing a right old stir. It’s the one with the wonky acoustic guitar that creeps up in it. Amazing. On the flip, ‘Detroit Herpes’ is as straight up dance floor as he gets. This is the real shit right here.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Beds in Parks/Cabbage

    I’m a Warhol / Dinner Lady

    (O Genesis)

    Listen / Buy

    Clanking post punk on this split single of new sounds on Tim Burgess’s O Genesis imprint. Beds in Parks feature ex-History of Apple Pie folks and make a dark racket whilst overleaf Cabbage are a guitar slingin’ Manchester 4 piece with a scratty Brit Pop appeal.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Keita Sano

    Explosion

    (Mister Saturday Night)

    Listen / Buy

    Nearly two dozen releases in and Mister Saturday Night are still dropping nothing but heat, this time enlisting Japan’s Keita Sano to make the systems sparkle. Rediscovering the form which led to ‘Sweet Bitter Love’ on Spring Theory, Sano backs a spangled filter house refix of a Sylvia Striplin classic with a building yet banging fusion of ‘Give Me The Night’ and ‘Jingo’. All things considered, it’s the best sample house slammer to grace the label since the all conquering ‘Mad Disrespect’ and a must for DJs operating on the front line.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Aaron Dilloway

    Songs About Jason

    (Amethyst Sunset)

    Listen / Buy

    After an initial run of 40 cassettes that were a live show only affair, this one was crying out for a vinyl version and Amethyst Sunset have done the good deed with 500 of these and 140 of them on clear splatter vinyl for the collectors among you. Aaron Dilloway has long been conjuring penetrating and skewed works of texture and abstraction and Songs about Jason is another triumph of tape-delay induced disorientation.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Hidden Spheres

    Well Well

    (Rhythm Section International)

    Listen / Buy

    Having stolen the show last summer with his blissful Waiting EP for Distant Hawaii, Hidden Spheres is back to claim the sunset for himself once to bring up a dozen 12″s on Rhythm Section. If Detroit had a beach, the bar might play something a little like ‘Well Well’ on repeat, and then, just when you think things couldn’t get more blissed out, in saunters ‘Too Soon’ with a William DeVaughn-esque gangster lean. Top notch sunshine material.


    LPs


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Elliott Smith

    Figure 8

    (Bongload)

    Listen / Buy

    The legendary Bongload have just released a handful of classic LPs in runs of 2016 copies only and this is one of them. Elliott Smith’s Figure 8 is a complete masterpiece from beginning to end. This was his last album proper before his untimely death and shows just how amazing this man really was. The songs, the production, the musicianship are all there and it’s all just to much to take in in one listen. You’ll never tire of this record. 180gm coke bottle smoke vinyl with a sequentially numbered aluminium stamp and a poster. Be quick.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Trust Punks

    Double Bind

    (Faux Discx)

    Listen / Buy

    The influence of the great Calgary band Women is spreading far and wide as the years drift by and has obviously has now reached New Zealand if the fidgety sound of this group is concerned. Their debut is justly tight and taut avant punk with chattery guitars, pulverising drums and dark post punk drama.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Hieroglyphic Being

    The Disco’s Of Imhotep

    (Technicolour)

    Listen / Buy

    Perhaps seeking to capitalise on a recent swell in popularity (or maybe just fixing that loose earth wire) Jamal Moss delivers his least distorted, most accessible Hieroglyphic Being album yet. Now before the die-hards overload the Resident Advisor comments feed, that doesn’t mean the Mathematics man has gone pop. Instead, he’s delivered 9 tracks of peerless spiritual techno, packed with machine funk bass grooves, crystalline synth lines and precise driving rhythms, all in tribute to the titular Egyptian deity. Focussed and relatively direct, this is a classic Hieroglyphic Being LP without any of the bits you have to pretend to like.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Wolfgang Voigt and Deepchord

    Peter Hamel’s Colour of Time Reinterpreted

    (Astral Industries)

    Listen / Buy

    With Deepchord providing the inaugural release for Astral Industries and Wolfgang Voigt following shortly after with an LP of his spellbinding live set at St John at Hackney church, here they’ve joined forces for a most worthy take on a kosmiche classic- Peter Hamel’s Colour of Time. Extrapolating the palette of the original and casting it in the hues of the distinctive minimalist electronica both artists are known for, this is an essential listen for lovers of ambient music. These have been flying out of the gates so act fast.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Geraldo Pino

    Boogie Fever

    (PMG)

    Listen / Buy

    When a record is listed for $6,000 on Discogs and still delivers bang for your buck you know it’s going to be a winner. Thankfully, you no longer need to take part in such madness, with the reissue of this afro-funk bomb from the Nigerian boogie master Geraldo Pino. Laced with bonkers Moogs, running keys and a hyper-charged dubby groove, Boogie Fever is one of those totally inexplicable oddities that manages to transcend all reason to become an irresistible force on the dance-floor. There’s even a totally bizarre funk rendition of Beethoven’s 5th. Obviously essential.

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