During a stay in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, restless Welsh improviser Elvin Brandhi set to work recording a full-length collaborative album with members of the local Nyege Nyege collective including percussionist Omutaba, rappers Hakim and Swordman Kitala, and production from Don Zilla and Oise. The collective’s no holds barred sonic palette – where cosmic reverb, knife-slice rhythms, and atomic bass thuds rub up against each other constantly – meets its match in the hyperactive Elvin Brandhi, always happy to screech and blast her lyrics. Heavy instrumental ‘Ghott Zillah’ lives up to its name with monstrous roars soaring over cataclysmic samples crashing below.
The latest album from Montréal’s YlangYlang ropes in a host of guest instrumentalists to flesh out DIY bitcrushed beats and bass of bedroom pop with orchestral flourishes. The result, as heard on lead track ‘Limitless’, is soaring beautiful work, backing up YlangYlang’s musings on flailing relationships and broken hearts with a creaking world of a luscious guest orchestra. The result is as warm as a chat with a dear old friend.
While welcome to see Finnish producer Vladislav Delay returning from a five-year hiatus, he’s not going to make this easy. ‘Raajat’ is the first glimpse we get into a new full-length, and it sees the producer hacking away at and exploring his source material with maddening abandon. Inspired by time spent in nature, samples are treated like firewood, chopped into pieces, and set alight. Let’s call it “cubist naturalism”.
'These Chains All Over'
If you were to go deconstructed clubbing, Asfast would be perhaps the ultimate act to have behind the decks. The noisy, bassy music of Austrian producer Leon Leder seems to worship a trinity of mysticism, volume, and bass. Angrily slinging club music tropes against his idiosyncratics canvas here, Asfast is blazing new trails in music-to-test-your-speakers-with. Both sonically and emotionally overpowering, Asfast’s is a soundworld brimming with the unexpected.
While Berlin-based cellist Martina Bertoni puts her instrument at the core of her music, the complex manipulations and ambient settings she creates turn the lonesome cry of her strings into wistful dreamscapes. This album opener perfectly sets the tone for her debut full-length release, hovering between melancholy and menace as shuddering clouds of distant distortion gather behind a stream of pensive melody.
The Leaf Label
That they work from a disused textile mill located somewhere in Yorkshire is roughly everything we know about who Craven Faults is. However, one single deep listen to the unfurling arpeggiated epic, ‘Vacca Wall’, should be enough to get you entirely on board. Approaching the halfway mark, the track’s myriad synth lines bleeping on in spirals suddenly lock into place around an emerging kick thud. Absolutely engrossing work.
Jan St Werner
The leader of Mouse on Mars briefly resurrects the late Mark E. Smith (with whom he collaborated as in the mid-oughts as Von Südenfed) for a typically snarling monologue. Smith seems upbeat here, nattering with Jan St. Werner while the latter issues a bed of atonal bumps and subdued synths in stasis. Even when he’s rambling Smith’s words seem musical, and Werner punctuates his speech with electronics. Oddly satisfying.