KONX-OM-PAX: Regional Surrealism (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jul 10th 2012 01:21 am

Konx-Om-Pax: Regional Surrealism

Regional Surrealism
Planet Mu 2012
14 Tracks. 46mins30secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD | LP Boomkat: CD | LP

Glaswegian Tom Scholefield is pretty well acquainted with the music industry, having, in recent years, directed videos for Martyn, Kuedo, Lone and fellow Scotts Hudson Mohawke, Rustie or Mogwai, and produced artwork for Oneothrix Point Never or King Midas Sound. A side of his creative mind that’s so far remained under wrap is his music production, but this is about to change with the release of his debut album on Planet Mu. Regional Surrealism follows a handful of EPs published on Scholefield’s own imprint, Display Copy, in the last couple of years.

Scholefield’s music is somewhat odd, wonderful and highly individual. Continue Reading »

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POLYSICK: Digital Native (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jun 14th 2012 12:43 am

Polysick: Digital Native

Digital Native
Planet Mu 2012
15 Tracks. 59mins53secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP iTunes: DLD

Like many of his contemporaries, Egisto Sopor operates under a number of aliases, but, despite a few CDr and cassette releases in recent years, Digital Native is his official debut full length, published through Planet Mu’s auspicious channel.

Hailing from Rome, Sopor, who also co-runs DVD and video imprint and production unit AAVV, who have been getting noticed in some electronic circles in recent months, claims that, when he works on a track, he usually has visuals in mind. It is therefore not surprising to find many cinematic moments scattered across this record, but the mood is never set for very long here. Dreamy soundscapes and laidback ambiences often collide with more upbeat or unsettling moments. Equally, Sopor’s abundance of influences range from early acid, techno or electro to ambient, dark electronica and disco, and are at times placed in sharp contrast from each other, as if he was purposely trying to confuse his audience as to exactly who or what is Polysick; and over the course of the fifteen tracks collated here, he has plenty of opportunities to do just that. Continue Reading »

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LAST STEP: Sleep (Planet Mu)

themilkman on May 14th 2012 09:46 pm

Last Step: Sleep

Planet Mu 2012
09 Tracks. 34mins09secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Aaron Funk may be best known for his often corrosive drill’n’bass and intensive release schedule as Venetian Snares, but he has a gentler side which he has been expressing through his work as Last Step since 2005. Taking on a resolutely more acid-based approach, Funk has issued two albums under this moniker, the first one, self-titled, in 2007 and the second, 1961, a year later, both on Planet Mu.

As its title suggests, this third album is concerned with sleep, something which transpires through the track titles (Xyrem, Rohypno, Microsleeps, Somno), and, if Funk is to be believed, was recorded as he was falling asleep. Continue Reading »

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ITAL: Hive Mind (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Mar 13th 2012 01:32 am

Ital: Hive Mind

Hive Mind
Planet Mu 2012
05 Tracks. 42mins33secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Daniel Martin-McCormick has been making waves with a variety of projects for quite some time, with releases on Dischord when he was vocalist with Washington DC-based hardcore combo Black Eyes, Quarterstick and Thrill Jockey as part of disco/punk outfit Mi Ami. More recently, he turned to dark and twisted dubbey electronica with Sex Worker, a solo project which has seen him release music on Not Not Fun Records. Lately, Martin-McCormick focused his attention on yet another project, soberly entitled Ital, the time of a couple of EPs for NNF subsidiary 100% before landing a spot on Mike Paradinas’s discerning Planet Mu, for whom he delivers a slick and playful debut album.

Far from the oppressive and dark ambiences of Sex Worker, Martin-McCormick seeks inspiration in smooth progressive house and techno for this project, but this is really only part of his vision. Continue Reading »

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ORIOL: Night And Day (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jul 5th 2010 01:18 am

Oriol: Night And Day

Night And Day
Planet Mu 2010
11 Tracks. 43mins15secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP

Born in Barcelona and now sharing his time between Cambridge and London, Oriol Singhji is not one to conceive electronic music as a cold and sterile medium. His debut album, Night And Day, on Planet Mu, is a sizzling melting pot of funky grooves, jazz fusion, electro disco and classic techno with discreet touches of dubstep sprinkled over to give his music just enough of a contemporary edge. It is doubtful that Oriol was even born when the 1980s, and even more so the seventies, were in full swing, but he captures the spirit of it all and cleverly avoids making it all sound cheesy or dated. His tracks are chunky cuts of euphoric electronic music, rooted somewhere between Detroit and Chicago, and drenched in Floridian sunshine, and the whole thing has a shamelessly feel-good factor heard all too rarely on electronic records. Continue Reading »

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ITAL TEK: Midnight Colour (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jun 25th 2010 01:05 am

Ital Tek: Midnight Colour

Midnight Colour
Planet Mu 2010
13 Tracks. 51mins45secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Dubstep and garage may have originated from London, but both genres have long since expended outside the boundaries of the British capital to be re-interpreted by music producers across the land and beyond. One such artist is Brighton-based Alan Myson, who, under the Ital Tek banner, has been refining a particular form of dubstep through various EPs and a debut album, Cyclical, released primarily on Planet Mu.

Two years on from Cyclical, Midnight Colour continues Ital Tek’s sonic exploration, yet it denotes quite a substantial change of tone. By assembling much smoother soundscapes together and placing them over gentler beats, Myson steps into a much more nuanced and refined universe. Continue Reading »

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LUKE VIBERT: We Hear You (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jul 28th 2009 09:09 pm

Luke Vibert: We Hear You

We Hear You
Planet Mu 2009
14 Tracks. 65mins40secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Boomkat LP: Amazon UK | Boomkat

Lord Vibert is back, once again on Planet Mu, which seems to have become a semi permanent home for his eclectic blend of electronic music. One of the forefathers of modern electronica, and a long-time friend of Richard D. James, Tom Jenkinson or Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas, Vibert’s back catalogue spans more genres than these three put together. Ambient, hip-hop, drum’n’bass, library music, acid or funky disco have all been part of his diet, whether he recorded as Wagon Christ, Plug, Kerrier District, Amen Andrews or under his own name, and these are still constant elements of his sound, over fifteen years on from his first releases. Continue Reading »

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LEGION OF TWO: Riffs (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jun 25th 2009 12:47 am

Legion Of Two: Riffs

Planet Mu 2009
09 Tracks. 65mins23secs

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On one side is Alan O’Boyle, a Dubliner best known on these shores as Decal, under which name he has released music on Planet Mu, Trama Industries, Leaf, Ultramack and his own Decal-Artifact imprint. On the other is David Lacey, a Dublin-based drummer and percussionist with over twenty years experience. Together, they are Legion Of Two, an unlikely combination of dark brooding electronics and live drums who have found in the currently hyper-active Planet Mu a home for their debut album, Riffs.

Finding their natural playground somewhere at the confine of industrial and death metal, Legion Of Two play with various shades of dark and doom throughout and fuel their music with seismic moments of tension, which radiate into heavy discharges of distortion and noise. Continue Reading »

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BOXCUTTER: Arecibo Message (Planet Mu)

themilkman on May 13th 2009 12:40 am

Boxcutter: Arecibo Message

Arecibo Message
Planet Mu 2009
13 Tracks. 49mins07secs

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In the four years since he first burst onto the grime/dubstep scene, Barry Lynn as established Boxcutter as a force to be reckoned with, yet, in recent years, his sound has progressively become more eclectic and rounded, while still retaining much of the caustic streaks that got him noticed in the first place. Hailing from Lurgan, county Armagh in Northern Ireland, Lynn published a first EP on London-based Hotflush Records, one of the first imprints to heavily promote dubstep, in 2005, before moving to Planet Mu the following year. He has since delivered two albums under the Boxcutter banner, and a third one under his birth name, as well as contributed tracks for a number of compilations released by the label.

With his latest Boxcutter slice, Lynn continues to explore much wider sonic grounds and adapt his approach to fit with this expanded horizon. Continue Reading »

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SYNTHEME: Lasers ‘N’ Shit (Planet Mu)

David Abravanel on Mar 6th 2009 12:06 am

Syntheme: Lasers 'N' Shit

Lasers ‘N’ Shit
Planet Mu 2009
20 Tracks. 62mins46secs

Icon: arrow Buy: CD | LP

At this point, it’s become standard to assume that any new classic-sounding acid act is, in fact, Richard D. James in disguise. The online chatter about the true identity of Syntheme, coupled with the fact that the latest release under the moniker, Lasers ‘N’ Shit, is an engagingly funky course of acid disco, has done little to quell such suspicions. (And how about those track titles – Thraqqwa? Eqxq? More suggestive evidence). In all likelihood, however, Planet Mu is telling the truth in simply stating ‘Syntheme is Louise Wood from outta Brighton’. After all, this Louise Wood has performed live numerous times as Syntheme; RDJ never went so far as to hire actors to perform as The Tuss.

So, assuming that we’ve got the debut full-length form the 24-year-old Wood on our hands, let’s get down to business: this owns. Continue Reading »

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ITAL TEK: Cyclical (Planet Mu)

Robert Rowlands on Jul 1st 2008 11:07 pm

Ital Tek: Cyclical

Planet Mu 2008
11 Tracks. 55 mins 33 secs

iTAL tEK might well have chosen a daft name for himself, but the music here suggests he is a man who means serious business. The doleful atmospherics of Cyclical are undercarried by many of the same rhythms as the staples of the dubstep sound, but that is largely where the similarity with that work ends. Where others might veer towards rude boy dance hall bass-bins, Alan Myson, the man behind iTAL tEK, is working in a different direction entirely. Infusing his tracks with a depth often rare to the genre, he manages to lift his music well above the basic common denominators of the scene.

Burial might have won the garlands for this kind of sad-eyed examination of urban desolation already, but too often dubstep has found itself rooted in the sound of the club, leaving little to take away when the kick wears off. Continue Reading »

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VENETIAN SNARES: Detrimentalist (Planet Mu)

Robert Rowlands on Jun 30th 2008 08:59 pm

Venetian Snares: Detrimentalist

Planet Mu 2008
10 Tracks. 51mins27secs

One thing that Aaron Funk, the prolific Canadian musician behind Venetian Snares, cannot be accused of is boring the listener. Since first taking on the sometimes staid world of electronica in the late nineties with a battering ram, he has gleefully been launching assault after assault with his reconstructed drum ‘n’ bass sounds. Detrimentalist, like the many albums to have come before it, barely takes time out to breathe, such is the manic wellspring of energy at the core of the record. And whilst the dizzying aural barrage will deter the tender, there is a delightfully over the top vivacity at work in his music that at the very least ensures attention. Continue Reading »

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