Monday, September 29, 2014

FIVE YEARS

on september 29th, 2009, i started smilecoldanatomy, which means this blog is now five years old! thanks a bunch to everyone who has ever found anything of interest here - music, words, art, whatever - and special thanks to the artists who've joined the fun and shared their sounds by way of the anatomy mix series. the next set will be coming soon, and i'm really excited to say that it'll be the very first to come from a US artist. stay tuned...

Monday, September 1, 2014

monday moods

it is now labor day, which will mean a nice and lazy monday... so here's all this:

LOOK OUT FOR A NEW CASUAL VIOLENCE EP the manchester DJ and producer of dark, abstract techno is returning with a new four-track EP, expression unrelated, on plector. you might already be familiar with some of the music, which was actually layered into casual violence's extra-twisted anatomy mix from late 2011. this is his first vinyl release in a long time, and there will be more coming soon... in the meantime, try previews of the plector EP, apparently due in late september, below/on soundcloud.


DIVE INTO THIS MYSTERIES OF THE DEEP PODCAST it's the 21st entry on the very nice new york-based podcast, and it's from the russian-born LA-based artists ed vertov and lena deen. this includes tracks from the likes of mika vainio, gas and aphex twin, which is a good way to keep me listening. very nice, slowly developing soundscapes here.


also of note: mysteries of the deep will also host an event in new york in october, featuring live sets from alessandro cortini and ricardo donoso. cortini, a member of the nine inch nails live band, put out an intriguing solo album on hospital productions a few months ago, called sonno. you should give this track "di passaggio" a try:


ALBUM FROM FUNCTION AND VATICAN SHADOW COMING SOON again on the ambient tip - and on that hospital productions tip - is a new collaboration from function (dave sumner) and vatican shadow (dominick fernow). the album is called games have rules, and it'll come through fernow's label on september 22nd. sadly no previews but it sounds like a promising collaboration... you can read about it here.
another event alert, this time for chicago: function will play smart bar in october to headline oktave's five-year anniversary event. more details here.

NOW DIGITAL: THE PATH OF SPECTROLITE the album from john elliott's imaginary softwoods alias, originally put out just on vinyl on amethyst sunset in 2011, was issued on CD by peter van hoesen and yves de mey's label archives intérieures a few months ago. now the artist himself has made it digitally available for the first time. check it out below/on bandcamp, where you can - and if you haven't yet, you must! - listen to it in full.


LISTEN TO THIS FELIX K MIX it's from earlier this year, for the experimental techno label diametric.'s podcast. you can only stream it, but it's worth your time: felix k, who in 2013 released his debut LP, the excellent flowers of destruction, turns in a 57 minute-long set that's mostly light on drums but heavy on moody, abstract ambient.


... AND THEN LISTEN TO THIS STANISLAV TOLKACHEV MIX two years old now, but still (really really) good. this set of all original material was recorded for the addicted podcast, and i can't even count how many times i've listened to it since it first came out. to me, tolkachev is uniquely talented, and definitely one to keep track of. if you're not familiar, this set is a perfect, free introduction to his sound. and oh yes... it can be downloaded!


OH, AND A NEW APHEX TWIN ALBUM IS COMING SOON you've maybe, probably heard all about it. the hype is almost suffocating and certainly a bit annoying. anyway, it's called syro, it's the first aphex album since drukqs (2001), and it'll come out on september 22nd. details, tracklist etc here.

... and that's all for now. happy monday...

Monday, August 25, 2014

coming in november: a new VLADISLAV DELAY album!

the best news for a monday morning: vladislav delay has a new album, visa, in the works!

compounding the excitement, this is being described as the first ambient album from sasu ripatti's longtime alias in more than ten years. it was crafted in just two weeks, apparently in the time period when ripatti *should* have been touring the US. unfortunately, like countless others, the finnish artist seems to have had "visa issues" and couldn't make it into the country. fortunately, he took the time to focus on new productions, and if the seventeen-minute "medley" he's just posted to his soundcloud page is any indicator, this sounds like it should be a good one...

visa will come through ripatti's newer, self-titled imprint on november 10th. you can find a short interview and a few more details at RA. now, listen in and get ready:


Monday, August 11, 2014

patty - process part 381 (no couples)

i am really, really excited to be sharing my contribution to modyfier's fantastic process series!

the title for this one is no couples; it's an all-vinyl set that might be softer and more relaxed than any of the others i've shared. along with the mix, i wrote an essay about myself and my music pursuits. you can read that here. and as is usual for the series, rayna, the mind behind modyfier, prepared some very cool artwork. finally, that's the tracklist below.

it took me quite a while to finally put this all together, and i'm very happy with the results. modyfier has been the source of so many great mixes over the years, so it's a pleasure and an honor to be involved and contributing my own set of sounds (and thoughts). thanks to anyone who's decided to tune in... i hope you enjoy!



tracklist:
Auji - Conclusion Came To You (Part 2) - Aniara
Rick Wade - No Place - Laid
DJ Sprinkles - Kissing Costs Extra - Kolour LTD
Orlando B - MK-12 - Yore
Steve O'Sullivan - Midnight Creeper (Extended) - Sushitech
Sven Weisemann - Amity - Mojuba
Deepchord - Electromagnetic Dowsing (Step 1) - S Y N T H
KS - Contrail - Stratosphere
Emmanuel Top - Addiction - Planete Rouge Records
Abdulla Rashim - Semien Terara 2 - Abdulla Rashim Records
Ko-Ta - Comptine - Stratosphere
Redshape - Violet - Delsin
Kassem Mosse - Workshop 12 B1 - Workshop
Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent 3 - Honest Jon's Records
Alan Backdrop - Snit - Enklav

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

mixes: body boys, voiski, svreca

happy early wednesday morning! now, for your consideration, three fairly fresh and definitely dope mixes.

body boys - all city mix 005 to date the mysterious artist known as body boys only has a few credits to his name over the past year or so, but they've all come on opal tapes. most prominent is his growth window album, released in november - a strange trip through moody nocturnal ambiance that stirs in effects-laden vocal snippets. stream it in full here. this mix has body boys combining those introspective vibes with a range of head-down, lo-fi techno jams. certainly an artist to watch, methinks. (link)


voiski - melbourne deepcast 122 french producer voiski has a nicely growing catalog of productions. powerful, sophisticated techno has been the norm for his records, including particularly fantastic tracks like "ad infinitum" on his own label construct re-form and a recent cut on L.I.E.S., "wax fashion". for his contribution to the melbourne deepcast (which comes with a concise interview), he practically hits the ground running and never relents until the final sprawl of blissed-out synths. dynamic, raw, percussive and yet still hypnotic and emotional - very nicely done. (link)


svreca at trouw (amsterdam), june 28th 2014 this is a 72-minute recording of semantica boss svreca in action recently at the club trouw in amsterdam. svreca's stuff (tracks and DJ mixes) is distinctively sleek, tense, angular and atmospheric. his selections here are top notch, starting with that first one from antigone, and they come mixed and layered nearly to perfection. (link)


... and also, i recorded a new mix and it should be ready to share soon. look out!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ben frost, chicago, halloween!

this should be fun: ben frost will be coming to chicago on friday, october 31st. that's right, halloweeeeeeeeeeen...

a few months ago frost put out his latest album, A U R O R A, the sounds of which he's taking on tour. it's a challenging album, as usual, and one that sounds more futuristic than his other work, yet it has a curiously polished touch to it - but yes, it's still filled with plenty of distorted heft. i think i still prefer by the throat; i saw frost play live during sonar chicago in 2010, shortly after the release of that LP, and he had the seated crowd enthralled as he slowly let loose his swells of guitar noise and pensive beats. but the new album is still an interesting listen, so i can't wait to see how frost performs the new material live. the empty bottle-related show is happening at constellation, formerly known as the viaduct theater, and (though i'm not sure if i've ever been) i've heard good things about the spot. tickets and more details are right here.

also on the lineup with frost is cleared, a chicago duo consisting of michael vallera (aka COIN, an alias that's appeared on opal tapes) and steven hess (who's been involved with groups like pan-american and locrian). spaced-out, reverberated guitars and rattling, loose percussion seem to be the norm for the duo, as they've put out a trilogy of albums on the local label immune over the past few years. you can try all three at the label's bandcamp page.

so, it sounds like an interesting night. zoinks!

Monday, July 14, 2014

monday moods: stream for free

 
happy monday evening... now here's this: a list of musical stuff that's graciously been made available to stream in full online. some new stuff, some stuff that's a little older, all alphabetically arranged stuff. and if you like it, consider buying it!

cloudface - untitled here's some fresh jams from opal tapes. the seven-tracker comes courtesy of vancouver artist cloudface (aka david reynolds), who's put out a couple other very cool releases over the past two years. i suppose you can call most of what he does spacey, subdued, analog deep house, though sometimes the pace quickens, and other times it dissolves into ambiance. either way, nice. (link)


... oh and on that opal tapes tip, nyc label affiliate patricia - whose body issues i just had to blog about a few months ago - will be coming to chicago next sunday, july 27th! he's on the bill for body talk - free the body, a show taking place at the burlington. only $5 cover; keep it in mind...

dasha rush - "ocean shy" (video) the more ambient and introspective half of dasha's recent record for deep sound channel gets an official video. given the sounds involved, it's a suitably aqueous and dreamy trip. (link)

nuel - aquaplano ltd 01 there's been much celebration about the recent reissue of donato dozzy and nuel's aquaplano sessions on spectrum spools, but let's not forget this excellent 2010 solo release from nuel, whose textured, tribal, ambient-inflected sounds are likely imprinted into the minds of certain techno heads as well. over at bandcamp you can also check out his other, electro-leaning aquaplano record. (link)


... also here's some interesting to note: nuel seemed to have gone away in recent years, but following a solo live show at tresor in berlin a few months ago, he's now booked again in berlin alongside donato dozzy for an aquaplano sessions set, and their agency has announced they'll be "available for a selected few worldwide gigs"...

voiski - smoke machine 095 voiski is a french producer of intriguingly eclectic, often wonderfully evocative techno. this live set dropped through smoke machine at the beginning of the year, and it's still fresh. (link)


yuka - episodes of yesterday a brand-new digital EP on silent season, and what looks to be the most expansive release in yuka's catalog. it's a pleasantly personal journey with hypnotic drums, warm bleeps and field recordings. (link)



Monday, July 7, 2014

T.E.W. - eighteen

here's something fresh for your late monday (or early tuesday, whatever), a new EP on electronique.it's in-house label.

this one is a two-tracker called eighteen, and it comes from the roman duo T.E.W., which is short for Traveling into Esoteric World. what's up for offer here are two wonderfully melodic, slow-building acid/electro hybrids, both originally produced more than fifteen years ago. give them a try with the player below, and you can read more about the recordings, and the duo and their role as part of rome's underground electronic music scene, at the label's bandcamp shop.


Monday, June 30, 2014

RA.422 - abdulla rashim

hopefully you've tuned into alan backdrop's very nice anatomy mix from last week. now here's this, from another blog favorite... an RA podcast from abdulla rashim! it's a really dense and heavy set made up of a bunch of music made by the man himself as well as new/unreleased stuff from friends, including lots of northern electronics material. (and yes, there's a tracklist.) you should definitely go listen.


Monday, June 23, 2014

anatomy 25 - alan backdrop

alan backdrop has returned! and so has the mix series after a long hibernation...

(photo by ross)

as tuned-in readers and listeners might recall, i connected with alan backdrop, aka alessio, sometime around early 2011. he crafted the ninth anatomy mix, a lovely three-hour trip called anecumene. he's gotten steadily busier since then, and in 2013 a diverse range of his tracks were issued through a handful of labels, highlighted by his first vinyl credits and a long digital release for prologue (which i reviewed over on RA). on top of that, he's had some notable dj gigs recently, including two in london as well as his debut at tresor in berlin.

i'm really happy to welcome alessio back and have him taking care of anatomy 25, as it marks a nice milestone for the series. this mix is (unsurprisingly) shorter than his prior effort, but no less captivating. first, let's have a chat:

Hello Alessio! It has been a little over three years since we shared anatomy 09. What's up?
Hello Brian! Three years already... time flies so fast! Many changes occurred during this period, some positive, some not so positive. But in the end, I'm happy with what happened. And now I'm really excited to release the second podcast on smilecoldanatomy, the portal where I released my first podcast ever.

You seemed to be very busy releasing music last year, including a digital EP on Ekar Records along with your first vinyl EPs, for Motoguzzi and Enklav. How did you connect with those labels?
Yes, it was the year where one of my biggest dreams took shape. I finally experienced the emotion of putting a cartridge on vinyl and hearing my own music. For sure, one of the most exciting moments in my life. Actually the really busy year, where I produced a lot of music, was 2012. I spent a lot of time experimenting and trying to find a personal sound. During this process, a lot of tracks came out. Some of them, for obvious reasons, were released in the following year. So, I consider 2013 as the result of 2012.

I have known Motoguzzi Records through Cio D'Or's release "Kimono." Since I liked what they were proposing lately, I decided to send some demos. Gianmarco, the label owner, liked my music. So we started to plan. For Enklav Records, I met Dario (Chevel) at a friends reunion/course for analog instruments in Venice. We introduced each other. Then, things happened automatically. I really liked what he was doing with his label, so, when he proposed a vinyl release for me, I enthusiastically accepted.

Coming to Ekar Records, I have to say I'm really in love with that project. It was started by my dear friend and fellow countryman Enrico (Air Protection Office). We always respect and support each other, in music and in life. The collaboration was inevitable.

Of course, last year you also made your debut on Prologue with the seven-track digital release VR Plan. Tell us about VR Plan, and your connection with Prologue.
Prologue! Of course my biggest attainment. I started to buy their releases since the first one. Some of them marked my life and my path. Same for the artists who release on this label. So, you can imagine what it means for me. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few messages with Tom [label owner Tom Bonaty] a long time ago after he listened to a mix I recorded at my place. I think he kept an eye on me since that moment. I don't know exactly how, I just know that some years later he proposed for me a digital release on Prologue. I was shocked! We were supposed to release 3-4 tracks, but, since things were long to organize, I kept sending new tracks. "VR Plan" is the result of the selections we made.

How has being signed for appearances on those labels changed your approach to production? Or has it not changed?
It didn't change so much. Of course I feel a bit of "sense of responsibility," but I want to continue to make music freely. And luckily, I collaborate with labels which allow me to do that.

Can you choose one track that you are happiest to see released on vinyl?
Ramas. [youtube link]

Tell us about your recent gigs. And how was your debut at Tresor?
Recently I had a special night playing at Crime Room in Lecce. It was my first time in the south of Italy and I have to say it was really comfortable. People are so warm and hospitable... it was one of the moments where I felt proud to be Italian. The organizers put their soul and their heart in what they do and you can feel it, you can breath it. The atmosphere was really positive and people were dancing so spontaneously. So, what ask more? It was perfect.

The following night I played at my beloved UndiciZerouno in Mestre. Since it's organized by really close friends (The Noisemaker, Modes, Paola Donadi) and it takes place in the province of Venice, I can say I'm home. I missed that feeling. I had the chance to play a relaxing warm-up. Then, I really enjoyed the other sets from my friends and Stanislav Tolkachev, then in the morning I played back-to-back with The Noisemaker. Absolutely amazing! It was only the second edition, but there's an intention to start again in September. I'm so excited.

Last weekend I played at Dazed & Confuzed in London. It was the first anniversary of the party and I was so honored to be in the lineup with outstanding artists. I get goosebumps thinking about the atmosphere of the party and the music... I was totally amazed by DJ Pete's set. I couldn't stop smiling and saying to my friends "He is a monster." Then, when the sun has set, Marco Shuttle started a deep and hypnotic journey… damn, what a party! I could spend so many words, but I couldn't express the feelings I had.

My debut at Tresor was great. I was the first one on the running order, so, I had the chance to build the atmosphere inside the club before the door opening. I'm an emotional person, so this helped me to relax. I enjoyed every moment and every person who got in the club and came to the dancefloor. Plus, a lot of my dear friends were there, beside me. It was a really special night. About the performance... there's always more to learn! But I'm pretty happy because the people were following my set dancing and smiling. That's what I need when I spin records.

What's next on the music front for Alan Backdrop? (new releases, gigs, etc)
I confirmed a new release for Ekar Records. We are planning everything and it will be out really soon. I will play two sets (ambient and techno) at Freqs Of Nature Festival in Germany between the 4th and 6th of July. Then, I'll be in Belgium on the 27th of July for the Huismuziek party at Warehouse O'cool with Synthek.

Finally, tell us about this mix!
Since I know smilecoldanatomy allows me to be totally free, I decided to record a predominantly ambient/soundscape mix, imagining landing on a mysterious island, walking through it for some days, feeling all the emotions it gives you, and then, going back to the boat and leaving. I hope you enjoy the journey!



and that's that. 70 minutes of lush, patiently building, increasingly rhythmic ambient sounds. all in all another excellent contribution from alessio, and (i think) a good way to get the series moving again here. thanks to alessio for returning and doing a fantastic job with anatomy 25. it's been a pleasure getting to know him, and i'm happy to see his music reaching wider audiences. you can keep track of him on facebook and RA.

oh, and thanks to all the artists who have joined the fun here over the years, and to anyone who's ever found anything of interest here. i hope you enjoy this mix!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

now hear this


it's a rainy grey evening here in chicago. here is some musical stuff i've been enjoying lately:

stanislav tolkachev at dommune he is one of my favorite producers, and i would say one of the most interesting voices in techno today. there's really nothing that compares to tolkachev's frenetic, polyrhythmic style, as far as i can tell. a few days ago he appeared on dommune to play an hour-long dj set of his own material, and unsurprisingly it's fantastic. fast, angular, sinuous, tense... fucking relentless!


yuka at tresor, august 2013 the globetrotting russian dj/producer (and like tolkachev, a fullpanda label affiliate) recently uploaded this recording of her dj'ing at tresor in berlin last august, for the fullpanda-focused party all you need is ears. included in the mix are raw, hypnotic techno tracks from the likes of dino sabatini, rrose and AnD (it's their track on krill music, a standout in a catalog that's otherwise meh to me). go to soundcloud or check it below.


DSCRD live at strichka festival this group, a key part of paris's tuned-in DEMENT3D label crew, construct dark and dense electronic soundscapes. about a month ago they played kiev, ukraine's strichka festival, and you can hear their live set on soundcloud... or right here.


stave - former (free remixes!) chicago producer stave turned in one of my favorite albums of 2013, reform, and later in the year came this pack of remixes of "tower 9," perhaps the most direct and aggressive cut on the album. my pick of the bunch comes from COiN, who has put out a few interesting solo releases on opal tapes. click here or stream below. ALSO: stave will be playing a contort event in berlin next month; i think (not sure) this will be his berlin debut. to any local heads reading this: i'd say his set should be a must-see.


... and you can also click here for bigger/better versions of that awesome photograph of the forbidden city. so, that's it from me for now. happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

listen to the lost CAUSTIC WINDOW album (aphex twin!)

apparently: in 1994, richard d. james - aka aphex twin - finished up a full-length album using the alias caustic window, which was to be released on his label rephlex. it was never given a full release, and it seems only a few test pressings were shared between the artist himself and some others. fast-forward to earlier this year, when a crowd-funding campaign was started in hopes of purchasing one very high-priced test pressing sold on discogs. that endeavor was a success, and those who participated in the crowd-funding were entitled to a "limited" digital copy of the album... which, of course, in the age of the internet (and youtube, depending on how mean they want to be to non-corporate users), means just about everyone can listen to it.

now, the one sad thing about this is the sound quality, which is good but not excellent. i'll presume it's a reflection of the current condition of the twenty year-old vinyl. (allow me to rant for a second: how the hell could you NOT keep this in pristine condition?) otherwise, this is pretty dope: an inimitable blend of IDM, breakbeat, techno, ambient and so on that james is known for. you can hear the whole thing via this youtube playlist, which is ready to stream below.



the whole thing is good but here's my quick picks: "flutey," "stomper 101mod detunekik," "revpok," and the absolutely awesome "101 rainbows (ambient mix)." oh, and if you really wanted this on vinyl, that test pressing - which is claimed to be, but seems obviously not, in mint condition - is 'available' on ebay...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

more RA reviews

oh hey, more RA reviews from yours truly. i'll probably be doing this regularly, and add in a bit of extra opinion, just to make sure anyone who wants to be in the know is... in the know.

ducerey ada nexino - cycles, children & islands EP from an alias of yuji kondo, a japanese producer of dense, abstract techno. anything put out by kondo (or his collaborator katsunori sawa and their joint project, steven porter) is worth a listen.

oscar mulero - electric storm a mostly floor-focused record with so-so sigha and tommy four seven remixes. the originals win, but nothing special, i'd say.

dasha rush - timid ocean drawings it's always nice to see/hear fresh tunes from dasha! there's two here: one a minimalist dancefloor burner, the other a moody ambient techno soundscape.

northern structures - crossing bridges even though the tracks sometimes it sounds a bit same-y, i really like what these guys are doing: carving out their own style of thick, serrated techno.

DSCRD - panopticon another conceptual EP from this group on the the french label DEMENT3D, which continues to be one to watch.

rupcy - utow solidly effective techno, though i do wish that last track (that weird one) was longer.

korridor - dyson sector NGC 224 atmospheric techno from sweden that veers away from the dance floor. the first track's really close similarities to mike parker's stuff aside, this is an interesting release.

donato dozzy - terzo giorno i bet a lot of people had been hoping for a dozzy-SA connection. first there was dozzy's abstract remix of lucy earlier in the year (he had help on drums from his friend and collaborator morphosis, incidentally enough!), now there's this, an EP notable for being one of dozzy's heaviest releases.

abdulla rashim - unanimity already said enough about this one... excellent album!

damaskin - kaona i liked his first record better, but there's some pretty solid, smooth acid tracks on this one. decent though not too stunning cassegrain remix.

drøp - vasundhara heavy experimental grooves from a new artist and label - all italians now living in berlin. there's a pretty monstrous remix from dadub, but the original tracks are compelling enough.


... and as usual you can find this and everything else over at my RA page here.

one last note, these images come courtesy of NASA astronaut reid wiseman, who's currently aboard the international space station (ISS), and frequently posting photos via his twitter page. (you can see the images, and expand them to their original size, here and here and here.) this is his first trip to space, and his enthusiasm is inspiring. these astronauts deserve the highest praise and respect for what they do. space is the place!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

abdulla rashim - UNANIMITY (listen/read)

i reviewed abdulla rashim's excellent new album unanimity for RA! you can go read the review here, and you can give the LP a try over here on bandcamp, or through the player below:


i stand by everything i wrote in that review, but as a bit of an addendum...

lately i've been mostly unimpressed with what's going on in the world of techno. there's a lot of stale hype floating around, and substance is scarce among all the big brand names. furthermore, full-length highlights for the genre have been few and far between, with the results usually being better near the fringes. (a notable exception, sadly, is kangding ray's recent album, which for me is a disappointment; more on this later.)

unanimity is one of those highlights. with it, rashim has found a sweet spot amidst tumbling, textured drums and off-the-deep-end ambiance. there's a sense of endlessness here - unique but similar to some of the scene's other inspired and refreshingly emotional efforts - and those crafty, off-kilter 3/4 tracks are examples and reminders of an approach that is, unfortunately, rarely pursued elsewhere. this album is a distinctively mesmerizing techno trip, and for me it counts as one of the best released so far in 2014.


... now then, be on the lookout for more and more RA reviews from yours truly, coming soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

stream new albums from BEN FROST and AMBARCHI / O'MALLEY / DUNN

it's gonna be a *lazy* saturday for yours truly. but before i fully tune out, i wanted to point out a couple full album streams, courtesy of pitchfork:

BEN FROST - A U R O R A (mute/bedroom community) the iceland-based musician is about to drop his next full-length and right away you may notice it's a more synthetic trip than usual; he's put aside the guitars, pianos and other string instruments used previously. (once again though, he's got a squad of collaborators on hand, including tim hecker and lawrence english.) even with the change in approach, this is sounding pretty, pretty good... frost is touring in support of the album, though no US dates have been announced as of now. i was able to see him play live with his shoe-less, computer/guitar-based setup here during sonar chicago in 2010, which was a wonderfully thrilling performance, so i'll hope for another chicago stop at some point soon. go to here for the stream (and here for a recent interview, also on pitchfork), here for frost's youtube page with some tracks and a/v "excerpts" from the album, and here for his official site with tour dates.

AMBARCHI / O'MALLEY / DUNN - SHADE THEMES FROM KAIROS (drag city) here's something just released from the three-headed collaboration of australian oren ambarchi and two seattle artists: sunn O)))'s stephen o'malley and affiliate randall dunn. rooted in the trio's 2009 soundtrack work for the short film kairos. it's a set of long, exploratory jams (five tracks, and a complete length of over an hour) with loose but assertive percussion, and appropriately droning, ambient-ish guitars and synths. the whole thing is worthy of your joint-smoking time, and its artwork is really cool, too, as you can see in the imagery atop this post. i can't stop listening to "sometimes," a beautifully downcast track which features japanese vocalist ai aso. if you only have ten minutes to spare, i'd advise you to skip right to that one. stream here.


okay... happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

steve moore - light echoes II

around the end of last year i happened upon steve moore's pangaea ultima, an album released on spectrum spools, which has recently turned into one of my favorite labels (thanks to works from artists like bee mask, container and donato dozzy). listening to pangaea ultima was my first serious foray into the music of this US producer, who makes obvious his penchant for grandiose synth music of all shapes and sizes. but moore has been quite active for over a decade with various projects, like the duo zombi, and more recently he's appeared on labels like kompakt and L.I.E.S.

while i highly recommend pangaea ultima, further research into moore's music has led me to his 2012 album for cuneiform records, light echoes. in particular, i've become rather obsessed with this fourteen-minute masterpiece, and the second of a two-part suite, "light echoes II." it all seems so simple; it's mostly 'just' a set of upward-curling arpeggios woven around endlessly sustained tones, but subtle modulations and bold key changes help turn it into a breathtaking trip. here's the youtube link just in case. otherwise, no more words... make rocket go now:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

donato dozzy's DIMENSIONS EP gets a reissue!

good news: donato dozzy's 2006 record dimensions is getting a reissue!

the two-track EP was a relatively early addition to dozzy's production catalog, with an original version featuring that distinctive dozzy records cover art (at right). this reissue will come via the longstanding swiss label mental groove records, and first up is a limited-edition run of 100 white vinyl copies now available for pre-order at mental groove's bandcamp and big cartel pages, with july 5th listed as an approximate release date. a version on black wax will also be released, and distributed by word and sound.

you can listen to both tracks on bandcamp (and below). "gol" is a leaner, more airy cut, with moody strings and a supple acid riff, while "fazah" goes wild with a heavy, fuzzed-out 303 line.



it's already been a really busy year for dozzy and his music, which means it's a pretty good time to be a fan: his two aquaplano records with nuel were reissued on spectrum spools, and further records is offering another run of vinyl and CD copies of his fantastic first solo LP K. on top of that, dozzy has been busy working with neel (as voices from the lake), putting out an EP with tin man, and turning in a *fantastic* EP for stroboscopic artefacts, among other recent endeavors.

Monday, May 5, 2014

monday moods: patricia - body issues

here's a release from the pleasantly eclectic label opal tapes, and its recently minted black opal vinyl offshoot, that i've been enjoying a lot lately. it's called body issues, it comes from a brooklyn producer named patricia, and it was originally put out as a cassette on opal tapes last year before the vinyl version (the first from black opal) which dropped a few months ago. i'm not sure if patricia is a she or a he or whatever, but the name is definitely one to watch by virtue of this very nice collection of hazy, acid-infused, daydream-ready house tracks.

you can stream the whole thing, courtesy of the opal tapes bandcamp page, below. my favorites: "waiting for alexis" and "melting".



happy monday!

Friday, April 18, 2014

what to do

do it to it:

LISTEN TO EARTHEN SEA this one, mirage, is such a nice record. i've listened to it plenty (and wrote this review about it) but just to be sure any ambient techno heads out there don't miss out on it, here's "velvet grey" which is probably my favorite track from the EP.


SIGN THIS PETITION it requests that panasonic restart production of the much-loved technics line of turntables. who knows what effect if any this would have, but we can dream, right? plus, it's nice to see more than 16,000 other signatories (at the time of this post) agree. sign it!

ANTICIPATE A NEW ALBUM FROM JOSH EUSTIS i'm a huge fan of telefon tel aviv, so when charlie cooper tragically died five years ago as the duo were releasing their latest (and for now, last) album, i was pretty emotional about it. now it's time for a solo album from the duo's other half, josh eustis, produced under the name sons of magdalene. it looks like it'll be heavy listening: eustis started the project in 2007 after learning that his father was diagnosed with cancer. check out this FACT news/interview for more details. release date: june 24.

TURN ON MAGIC MOUNTAIN HIGH'S "RIPTIDE"


PAY ATTENTION TO JOAN CORNELLÀ this (visual) artist has turned into one of my favorites, ever since i discovered his work at some point late last year. his comic strips play out, sans words, like some strange sort of cheerful and often violent game of chess... fascinating stuff. yes, all three images in this post come from him. go to his facebook page to find more.

DO VOODOO WITH A MIX FROM PATRICK WALKER now for something from a former anatomy mixer. originally posted back in november, this has been one of my go-to mixes. "one for fans of lost / bicknell / mills / oliver ho" says patrick. fast, dense, relentlessly percussive and oh yeah, it's a vinyl set. *dope* OG voodoo techno!


LET THIS NEW CASUAL VIOLENCE TRACK MELT YOUR SKULL and now a fresh jam from another friend of the blog: an unreleased track "recorded in one take, using one sound source (on one channel only)"... you might have an idea of what to expect, but either way, prepare your head.


ZOOM INTO SPACE WITH A REMIX FROM SKIRT (which i reviewed here)


BE ANGRY AT BUDGET CUTS AFFECTING NASA'S SPACE EXPLORATION PROGRAMS if you're from the US and/or you're a fan of space exploration, this new york times piece from a few weeks ago might grind your gears. in budgets of hundreds of billions of dollars, it's absurd that the government might not be able to allocate something like 22 million to keep these projects alive, but can find much more money than that to buy tanks the army does not want.

DIVE INTO AN EXCELLENT AMBIENT MIX FROM MULTICAST DYNAMICS aka VC-118A, aka mohlao, real name samuel van dijk. a very deep, layered journey, with abstract and ambient tracks from brian eno, mike parker, sleeparchive, robert henke/monolake, and so on... yeah, i *highly* recommend this one.


TUNE OUT WITH IMAGINARY SOFTWOODS this 2011 album the path of spectrolite, produced by john elliott (formerly of emeralds, currently of outer space) under the name imaginary softwoods, is a relatively recent discovery for me. so i'm a little late, but whatever, it is fantastic, and one of my most listened-to albums over the past few months.


and that's all folks. more stuff to come really, really soon....

Friday, April 11, 2014

(my) recent RA reviews

i've started writing some more RA reviews on a regular basis. here's a pile of recent ones; feel free to read, like, hate, comment, or whatever...

korova - horizontally three solid tracks from korova and NX1, but skirt's groovy, spacey remix is easily my favorite.

earthen sea - mirage a very nice record of what you might call ambient techno, released on ital's label lovers rock. warm, melancholy, introspective sounds, spread out across fifty total minutes. highly recommended.

valanx - ejecta remixes four strange, experimental techno tracks turned into... four strange experimental tracks, but the results are actually pretty interesting, and at least wide-ranging.

deepchord - luxury more smooth, warm, heady strands of techno from rod modell.

draag - occulted hard-hitting dj tools, enough said.

Ø - konstellaatio i was quite happy to get to review this album, which is already become a favorite for the year - it shows mika vainio diving further and further into darkly contemplative realms of experimental ambient music.

rick wade - sweet life decent stuff from a longtime purveyor of deep analog house. "the chateau" is the jam.

lakker - containing a thousand mostly more tricky, broken-beat techno from this duo, but i'll say "mausoleum"'s slow, druggy swagger makes that one my favorite.

... and you can find the whole archive of my editorial writing for RA here. look out for more soon!

Monday, March 31, 2014

monday moods: Ø - otava

hello again and just a quick one for now...

a couple months ago, mika vainio returned to sähkö for a new album by way of his longtime alias Ø. it's called konstellaatio, it comes more than five years since the last Ø album oleva though work on it began way back in 2006, and it's pretty fantastic, i'd say - generally more subdued and spaced out than the project's usual fare. here's the wonderfully mellow opening track, "otava." the youtube video has some distortion in the low end, but who cares when there's *those* heavenly pads and twinkling tones? if you haven't checked out the album yet, hopefully this helps convince you.


Friday, March 21, 2014

friday funk: ben frost - venter (new album upcoming!)

you should make sure this one is on your radar: a new album from iceland-based producer ben frost. it's called A U R O R A, and it's due out through mute on may 26th.

for more than a decade, frost has been cooking up abstract and often very aggressive music that defies simple genre tags (though i suppose 'ambient' might work the best). counted among his works are a handful of solo LPs (i first discovered him by way of by the throat, his last solo album from 2009) and film soundtracks - he self-released three albums on that front in 2013. you can hear a lot of his stuff streaming on full over on his bandcamp page.

apparently there's a press release that describing A U R O R A thusly: "starved of all the adornments of its predecessor... a defiant new world of fiercely synthetic shapes and galactic interference, pummelling skins and pure metals." i want to go to there! for now, frost has kindly posted a track from the album, "venter" for free streaming via soundcloud. nervously chiming bells, searing synths and heaving drums abound... tune in and hold on:

  
the album seems to be a collaborative effort, with frost getting some help from some friends. he's about to lead a live group on tour in support of the album, and i'll hope that some US dates are in order. i was able to see him perform here in chicago about four years ago and was really impressed. anyway, follow ben frost on facebook and twitter, and check out his homepage too. happy friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

abdulla rashim prepares first solo album, UNANIMITY

exciting news, another album to look out for in 2014: abdulla rashim, a personal favorite here on smilecoldanatomy, will release his debut solo LP in may!

unanimity is its name, and it'll be the tenth transmission from northern electronics, the label abdulla started a little over a year ago. since then, northern electronics has moved back and forth between deep-diving techno and wintry dark ambient, putting out records from fellow swedes varg (including a series of collaborative joints from varg and abdulla's ulwhednar project), acronym, korridor and råd kjetil senza testa. unanimity looks to be abdulla's first solo effort on the label, as he's continued to put out records on his own self-titled imprint. as usual with the artist and label, details are scarce - which is fine with me - but we do know unanimity will see release on 2xLP, CD, cassette and digital formats. you can stream one of the tracks, "afar depression," right here or via the basic soundcloud player below.

   
...and here's the full tracklist:

01 - Under The Wasted Sky
02 - Path Inwards
03 - Red Uprise
04 - No Borders
05 - Moral Blinds
06 - Afar Depression
07 - No God
08 - Nothing Existed
09 - Unanimity

abdulla also checked in with juno plus a couple weeks ago for a rare interview, which you should definitely take a look at. and, this great news gives me another opportunity to point you to his excellent anatomy mix from december 2012, which remains his most recent online set. quality over quantity is never a bad thing, i'll say, and there's now been more than 2200 downloads for that one, split between official.fm and soundcloud. hell yeah!

oh, and pardon the really slow start to the year here on the blog. life has kept me really, really distracted, but things are starting to clear up, and i promise there will be more smilecoldanatomy action soon, including a few new mixes. until then...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

early 2014 albums outlook (part two)

continuing with the second half of my list... (here's part one)

LUCY - CHURCHES SCHOOLS AND GUNS (stroboscopic artefacts) lucy returns with his second album, which comes just about three years after his first. this one sounds even better; the SA boss has only become more focused on detail in the designing his steely, atmospheric techno soundscapes. release date: february 17th, 2014

LUKE VIBERT - RIDMIK (hypercolour) i've never really been a fan of hypercolour, but i'll definitely be seeking out ridmik. it's vibert's first album under his own name since 2009, and it's supposed to have plenty of 303, so yeah. release date: april 7, 2014

LUNATIK SOUND SYSTEM - THE JOURNEY (something) stephan laubner might be best known as STL (see below) but he's also got a beatless album of "relaxing and psychedelic sounds" coming from his other alias, lunatik sound system, due out in the next couple months. release date: march/april 2014

MICK FINESSE - [?] (broken20) denver-based purveyor of "melodramatic death rattles" is readying an album for broken20 (which is home to a personal favorite, isodyne's dreams torn from the sky EP). no other details, but one to keep an eye out for. released date: tba

MILLIE & ANDREA - [?] (modern love?) a new LP from miles whittaker (aka miles aka MLZ aka one half of demdike stare) and andy stott. details for this seem scarce, but FACT says it's due out later this year. release date: tba

MONDKOPF - HADÈS (in paradisum) i can't lie, i've gotten really fucking tired of a lot of "industrial" "noise" "techno" bullshit. but mondkopf has previously put out some interesting stuff (i really liked their joint track with saåadon on last year's the black ideal compilation), so i'm willing to give this one a try. release date: february 5th, 2014 

Ø - KONSTELLAATIO (sähkö) released a couple weeks ago, i'm incredibly excited to finally listen to this. it's the first proper full-length from mika vainio's Ø alias since 2008's excellent oleva LP (heijastuva from 2011 was made up mostly of tracks already out but freshly put on vinyl), so it should be interesting to see where this project is in 2014. release date: late january, 2014

PAN SONIC - OKSASTUS (kvitnu) vainio and ilpo väisänen return! well, not really; this is a new *live* album from the finnish masters of heavy, often-rhythmic noise, pulled from a recording of a show they played in kiev in 2009 for the kvitnu crew. sadly, this is getting a limited and expensive vinyl release, along with a CD release. but with the pan sonic project apparently shelved, it's hard not to bite when 'new' material comes out. release date: february 20th, 2014

PERC - THE POWER AND THE GLORY (perc trax) his first one was pretty good - a proper full-length that was more than just banging techno - and perc's next one is (at least) an early contender for best album artwork of the year. it sounds like another wide-ranging trip, too. currently you can hear the whole thing on RA. release date: february 17th, 2014

POEMSS - POEMSS (planet mu) i partially picked this because of that artwork, but also because it's apparently filled with "dream-like ballads," and because it's a collaboration between venetian snares and joanne pollock. venetian snares, usually a purveyor of harsh, cerebral breakcore, aiming for a big stylistic switch-up... could be interesting. release date: february 11th, 2014
 
SENDAI - A SMALLER DIVIDE (archives intérieure) the second album from this duo of peter van hoesen and yves de mey - their first, 2012's geotope, had some really brilliant moments - and "the result of six months of intense remote collaboration between both artists." it'll come by way of the two artists own label archives intérieure. release date: february 24th, 2014

STL - AT DISCONNECTED MOMENTS (smallville) curiously this one (at least on CD) includes a couple of stl's classics, "neurotransmitting clouds on the secret freeway" and "silent state," but it's on smallville, whose LPs are generally worth a try, so this one is on my to-do list. release date: january 21, 2014

THUG ENTRANCER - DEATH AFTER LIFE (software) the next LP on oneohtrix point never's label, and it comes from a denver native apparently now based in chicago. abstract, angular analog jams abound, touching upon rapid-fire juke and weirdo house and techno. release date: february 10th, 2014


TOBIAS. - A SERIES OF SHOCKS (ostgut ton) he linked up with margaret dygas for a very nice and spaced-out two-tracker late last year, and now "dark and raw techno" is promised on this, tobias freund's second solo album. release date: march 31st, 2014

TODD TERJE - IT'S ALBUM TIME (olsen records) one of today's best disco/house producers is preparing his debut album. disco usually isn't my thing but this one should be a good one, given terje's penchant for penning irresistible gems (ahem, "inspector norse"). release date: april 17th, 2014

UNTOLD - BLACK LIGHT SPIRAL (hemlock recordings) the debut label from hemlock boss untold. his more recent output has interested me the most (he's been hit or miss otherwise, i say), and this one sounds more unhinged than his previous EPs, yet still strangely cohesive... release date: february 24th, 2014

VERMONT - VERMONT (kompakt) this one is billed as an "ambient project" of innervisions artist marcus worgull and danilo plessow, aka motor city drum ensemble, with "loose jams sessions" apparently led by "an armada of vintage analogue synthesizers." you can try out this track from the album, which sounds like it'll be at least a decent addition to the kompakt catalog. release date: march 17th, 2014


... well then, lots to look forward to. also, i'm happily finally able to say truthfully that there'll be a few more anatomy mixes soon!

early 2014 albums outlook (part one)

we're about six weeks into the year, and on my radar i've spotted a few dozen albums worth keeping track of. some have already been released, and there's a bunch more due to arrive in the next few months. exciting! here's the first half my list, arranged (i think) in alphabetical order.

ACHTERBAHN D'AMOUR - ODD MOVEMENTS (acid test) this one, from the duo of iron curtis and edit piafra, was actually just released. we're promised "a wintry retreat from the club" that's heavy on the 303. release date: early february, 2014

AMBIQ - AMBIQ (arjuna) a collaborative project from experimental producer max loderbauer, clarinetist claudio puntin and percussionist samuel rohrer. having recently discovered the joys of loderbauer's debut solo LP from last year, transparenz, and having heard the very cool stuff he's been making with vladislav delay as heisenberg, i'm really interested in hearing what he's up to next. release date: february 14th, 2014

ARCHANGEL (aka BRUNO PRONSATO) - THE BEDROOM SLANT (foom music) a 'new' project from bruno pronsato that actually seems to have begun last year, it apparently has the experimental house producer working more with live instrumentation, on a sound that's more informed by rock and post-punk music. should be interesting, given bruno's roots as a (speed metal) drummer. release date: april 7th, 2014

BROCK VAN WEY - HOME (echospace [detroit]) just released, and i wrote this RA news about it. it's more than two and a half hours long and you can hear it all at the label's bandcamp page. release date: february 9th, 2014

D.Å.R.F.D.H.S. - DET STORA OVÄSENDET (clan destine) with a really long name, the swedish duo of varg (i did an RA review for his misantropen LP last year; he also collaborates with anatomy favorite abdulla rashim as ulwhednar) and michel isorinne, specialize in dark, wintry ambient soundscapes, as previously heard on a cassette release for funeral fog records last year. this one will come out on vinyl limited to 250 copies. release date: february 14th, 2014

DONATO DOZZY & NUEL - THE AQUAPLANO SESSIONS (spectrum spools) kudos to editions mego offshoot spectrum spools for doing this reissue of dozzy and nuel's first two records on their own label aquaplano. these days, the original versions command ridiculous prices over at discogs, so hopefully these hypnotizing techno tracks will reach more eyes and ears in 2014. release date: march 4th, 2014

EDIT SELECT - PHLOX (prologue) the next album on munich's prologue imprint is the full-length debut for glasgow's edit select, and prologue promises a mix of sounds including "emotional ambient tracks" and "hypnotic" dancefloor stuff. release date: march 3rd, 2014

EFDEMIN - DECAY (dial) it's the german producer's third album, recorded in kyoto, japan and focusing on "the deeper side of techno." (you can learn more by way of this RA news/interview piece) i wasn't too keen on his previous two LPs but this one sounds very, very interesting... release date: march 31st, 2014

EKOPLEKZ - UNFIDELITY (planet mu) the label likens this album to "the fuggy feeling of a teenage bong intake" and talks about a "dreamy, nocturnal feel" - two very appealing descriptions, methinks! release date: march 10th, 2014

EOMAC - SPECTRE (killekill) as one half of lakker and on his own as eomac, this UK producer has crafted an intriguing array of genre-jumping tracks over the past few years, usually with raw, heavy percussion and druggy atmospheric vibes. this will be his debut album, and berlin's killekill describes it as "a unique mix of distorted techno, slow-mo lo-fi hymns, and breaky, wonky dubstep/rave experiments." release date: sometime in april, 2014

FRANCIS HARRIS - MINUTES OF SLEEP (scissor & thread) the second album from francis harris (aka adultnapper), following 2012's leland, composed in dedication to his late father. this one is a tribute to his late mother. expect another dose of lush, indie-tinged, heavily emotional house music. release date: february 24th, 2014

HANDS (aka THE FIELD) - THE SOUL IS QUICK (ecstatic) axel willner is well known for the looping, ambient-ish techno he produces as the field, mostly for cologne institution kompakt - and late last year, his source material was reshaped into a lovely pair of remixes from wolfgang voigt's magnificent GAS project (which had been silent for years). this new alias, hands, seems like it'll be a darker, noisier endeavor, one conceived as "a protest record" and inspired by "human decay." release date: february 10th, 2014

JEFF MILLS - CHRONICLES OF POSSIBLE WORLDS (axis) the latest album project from the mighty jeff mills is a soundtrack made to be broadcast from suits worn by choreographed dancers, and inspired by the axis boss's study of exoplanets. release date: january, 2014 

JULIUS STEINHOFF - FLOCKING BEHAVIOUR (smallville) a co-founder of smallville, steinhoff recently revealed details for his debut solo LP. i'm expecting some smooth, deep and vibrant shades of house for this one. release date: springtime, 2014

KANGDING RAY - SOLENS ARC (raster-noton) this is the album i'm looking forward to the most in early 2014. kangding ray has turned into one of my favorite producers; i think each of his previous three LPs has its own enduring value, and each shows a clear sense of stylistic progression as he's gradually refined his evocative, abstract approach to techno. and look out, solens arc - whose twelve tracks are to be heard as (side-long) arcs - will be kangding ray's first album put out on vinyl! release date: february 24th, 2014

KASSEM MOSSE - [TITLE TBA] (workshop) yes, great news: kassem mosse, another one of my favorite experimental house/techno producers, has confirmed that his debut solo LP is on the way, and due out "soon" on the always-interesting label workshop. no other details to share for now, but it would probably be a good idea to jump on this one when it comes out, given that workshop releases are often hot commodities. release date: tba 


... and onto part two...