Generating Beef



Howdy from the Lowlands

Hope you’re enjoying the sun and all the pleasure and pain and suffering it brings. Sending this a little early (and at the same time a little late - go figure) on account of impending World Cup blah, so won’t stop to chat, only thing we should mention is our next in-store: Friday 13th July with XVARR / Biscuit (Good Morning Tapes) / Bake / and more TBA. BYO. THX. 

So much good stuff in this week that we didn’t try and shoe-horn into the newsletter - including re-stocks of truly magnificent rekids: De Leon on Mana, Normal Hawaiians, K2 on Vibraphone, Dimbiman on Pal SL, and many more… check the increasingly NAVIGABLE website for the full story. 



CHANT | 12" | £13.99

"A mysterious box arrived at the office labelled 'Tsho-Drong Zimpo'. Inside were incense sticks, a bubble wrapped DAT tape with a telephone number on it. We lit the sticks, ran the DAT and a call was made immediately." New six-tracker of paranoid, decelerated techno brut and bother from Tribe of Colin. You’ve got to be in zone for this. Wrong mood and its doped-out anti-virtuosity will piss you right off. If you’re still waiting for this shady character to start producing tighter, more accessible fare, forget it – LIONSPRINT... is even more rough-hewn and aggy than last year’s Wide Berth, and deconstructs a similar rag-bag of influences from Midwest techno, Isolationism, London pirates and the blunted, blackly comic DIY continuum that connects Homosexuals to Hype Williams. Along the way we get dumdum jack-tracks ('LSCITTPTCO', 'Opium'), oily, insinuating steppers (‘Guidance’, probably the closest thing to his Docile collab with John T. Gast), displaced African rhythm-and-chant (‘MMANWU’) , and murky, end-times minimal synth (‘Ascend to Terra Firma’) with sighing pads that hover free of the cyborg battlefield and offer PERMISSION TO DREAM. Colin’s tools might be crude, but man knows what he’s doing and what he wants...and it's summat only HE is bloody-minded enough to access. 


FRUSTRATED FUNK | 12" | £9.99

Highlights from the early SPESIMEN EPs that first crawled out the petri dish in '96 /’98. Although an immediate recommendation for anyone who shat their pants over the triple pack of SCOPEX material that came out on Tresor earlier this year, these tracks feel like the product of a far more contaminated laboratory.

Despite maintaining that classic, claustrophobic production style - with each element so tightly compressed it has to fight for its place in the mix - Spesimen veers away from the calculated, genetically perfected, now somewhat terrestrial sound palette associated with mid-90s electro. The kickdrums send shock waves through frustrated arpeggios, carrying all the energy and ATTITUDE of the rougher, West Coast sound; early Bunker / Clone projects like Cospagon or some choice Gary Martin cuts and at moments,  as on 'Satellite' and 'Harmonik Science', a certain Jamal Moss-esque boisterousness. Okay, maybe Jamal Moss on his best behaviour but still, think less white lab coat, modular fuckery and more a basement of freaks dancing on your copy of Gesamtkunstwerk that you left on the floor, out of its sleeve and swimming in club-muck. 

"Fypse funk from a past future.. Know your technos!" 



Been a bit since we could really sound the horn about a SouffleContinu box arriving but Areski’s Un Beau Matin (‘A Beautiful Morning’) is undoubtedly worthy of LAVISH praise (The fact that it arrived with a merciful repress of Barney Wilen’s Moshii 2xLP...cherry on top.) Perhaps best known as collaborator (and beau) of her royal highness Brigitte Fontaine, this LP, originally released in 1970 on Pierre Barouh's Parisian avant imprint, Savanah, is the Frenchman’s debut solo work and is the kind of unbelievably lush yet minimalist, hypnotic, eccentrically orchestrated, chanson-delic masterpiece that DREAMS are made of. Comus, Wyatt and Hawkwind meet Gainsbourg and Pareninn somewhere over the channel, on an LP that surely deserves to be at least as well known as Comme a la Radio. Areski’s Algerian heritage (surname: Belkacem) is also front-and-centre, with the flute and cello arrangements adding to the far-flung mystic quality in Areski’s spoken word-style lyrics - that much more mystical, no doubt, cos we can’t understand French - which on ‘Chanson Pour Sa Mère,’ simply means zoning out to the vocal ayahuasca-pellas. Pressed on deep turquoise, transparent vinyl with gatefold and original artwork, this one is outstanding and rewards repeat listens.  

DIFFERENT CIRCLES | 12" | £12.99

THAT'S THE QUESTION INNIT????? Seriously though, this is a banging and revelatory record: Raime have radically overhauled their style, or at least switched lanes, pivoting away from their patented post-punk dread and drone-logic and towards lean, tensile, ultra-synthetic street-beats - foregrounding the snake-style garage/grime DNA that was always present, if obliquely, in their previous work. In some ways this EP for longtime allies Different Circles feels like the music they should've been making all along, or certainly its inevitable destination. There's still that undertow of existential angst (COURSE there is!), and despite the change-up it's still immediately recognisable as them (who else programmes drums and stabs like that?!). But essentially here they have a break from staring down the void and instead channel the acute, eyes-to-phone isolation/claustrophobia/frustration of contemporary London life'n'living into hard-hitting music that above all feels playful, free, and ripe for the DANCE (or else riding a rammed overground train in tropical heat). Essential purchase!  


MANA | 12" | £13.99

UK-garage-meets-musique-concrete is how this record was provocatively billed, and of course even the faintest promise of such a thing had me drooling (don't get out much, me). I suppose at this stage people have subjected techno to so many avant-garde stress-tests, it's about time that 2step got pulled through the grinder too. But again it's one of those situations where you think, did this need to happen? Wasn't this music avant-garde enough (in the most deft and direct and visceral sense) before someone decided it in acousmatic noise?!  Or, to invoke Masterchef: who wants deconstructed cheesecake when you could just have cheesecake? 

So, when it came to it, I was ready to be dismiss 001 [Antenna]. But actually, it's a pretty fascinating, if so far pretty opaque work - it only arrived today and I'd be lying if I said I'd got my head round it just yet. I suspect this is one of those records which opens up, and becomes properly comprehensible, at extreme volume. In the meantime, consider me intrigued... its swarming, granular intensity echoes T++ (who arguably perfected this sort of swarming, granular, unheimlich garage with 2010's Wireless) but in the main this is a far more erratic, anxious, stop-start, (deliberately) aggravating listen: the fly on the cover beings to make perfect sense. 

"A fly on the wall may face some adversity, so if you imagine a human hand in basic swatting motion, maybe you will also couple the image with an evasive manoeuvre of some sort; usually there is a moment of hesitation where the human is unsure whether their aim was true. 'Did I catch it?'" 


PLANET RESCUE | 12" | £12.99

Slamming, guileless, freestyle acid/beatdown/slo-mo techno for dehydrated B-boys/girls on this very limited 12” from the TBZ/Brew sphere, a 6-track sampler cherry-picking the best/bolshiest tracks from PGY’s self-titled 2017 tape. Very breezy vibe with intimations of something heavier - or at least a kind of stoned, endless-summer nausea/weirdness/romance - at the edges. Stamped white label with insert. The type of record to make you question why you’re staring gormlessly at a screen when you could be out in the sun doing literally ANYTHING ELSE. For fuck's sake yer not getting any younger!
Next Post Previous Post