MVar enriches Slope Point

From the Baltic Sea to Barcelona

The Latvian producer releases the second reference for the Barcelona-based Slope Point label. “Implicit” EP arrives on February 28.

MVar: “Implicit” EP (Slope Point) Sleeve by Lisa Fotios.

The implicit suggestion for the musical content of the EP refers to the art-cover, a treated image of a shore on a rainy day, probably shot somewhere in the Gulf of Riga, the born-city of MVar.

Implicit” is a three-track EP related to the observation of solitary landscapes, an evocative state of mind. It goes through a mature and refined three descriptions in the embraced keys of Ambient and Dub Techno. From reverberating intro, (‘Here And Everywhere‘), MVar uses rhythmic bass to curling atmospherics. Delicate synth lines give a path to a propulsive beat in ‘Night Parade.’ For the enigmatic ‘The Mirror At The End Of The Road,’ synth delicacy leads to a more reverberant Techno leaned passages.

With two previous EPs released on Cold Fiction Music, “Projections (2018)” and “Falling (2019),” MVar debuts with “Implicit” on Slope Point to enrich the sound label, a Barcelona platform which proposal dedicated explicitly to the nuance of Ambient, Dub Techno, Deep Techno, and Experimental music.

Completing House side of Herbert

A chapter in versatility

On February 24, Matthew Herbert released “Part 8” EP on his Accidental Records.

Herbert: “Part 8” EP (Accidental Records) Art-work / Hopper

For now, it is the last installment of the “Parts” series initiated in 1995, the completing part to date of the house-focused material by the British electronic musician and producer, delivered under the moniker of Herbert.

Part 8” was the reactivated series’ culminating highlight for 2015, the third of a row of consecutive releases, which drew attention throughout 2014 with the previous numerals. The EP contains four tracks, featuring vocals by Rehel (Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne) and Ade (Ade Omotayo) in two of them, the most relevant.

Rehel braids her voice to the brave staccato of ‘The Wrong Place,’ a track that reveals his inventiveness for pushing boundaries and breaking conventions. To dare into that needs technical skills and a good command on the elements to ensure a melody comes out of it. Fragmented, but the unconventional, no linear built-up melody exits. Parts, fragments, and repetition are for the ‘Ticket‘ to ride on the deconstructed properties of House.

In “Palmas,” setback goes the initial ‘Remember Ken,’ not in a proper Flamenco way, but as an abstraction of another rhythm pattern can be the counterpart of a piano line leading to Ade‘s voice and a close and soulful approach to a customized Deep House. Finally, ‘Her Face‘ is bound to tribute the liquidity sound of the steel percussions on the way constructed in multilayered tickling melodies.

Parts” series conforms a side-part of Matthew Herbert‘s versatility, diversified but cohesive, abruptly interrupted in 1996 but reinforced to #8 in 2015. The last? I hope not.

Weekly Retrospective

W- 2020/02/17-23

Compiling the essential records released on the past times that match to corresponding dates of the present week.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys

The Synth Pop reigned 1980

On February 22, 1980, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark released the eponymous debut album through Dindisc, the Virgin Records sub-label.

The album “Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” came out preceded by ‘Electricity‘ single, which hit the stores in May 1979 as the Factory Records sixth reference (Fact6.) The duo from Wirral (Liverpool) had two months of life when Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys took the song for challenging sessions with producer Martin Hannett (as Martin Zero) at Cargo Studios.

They disappointed with his overproduced work. So, they re-recorded it at Strawberry Studios in Stockport (Greater Manchester) and dealt with Factory to release their version as A-Side with Hannett‘s production of ‘Almost‘ on the reverse. With regular plays on John Peel’s late-night show, B.B.C. Radio 1, added to the music media excellent response and the visual endorsement by Peter Saville‘s 7″ sleeve, the O.M.D. debut single was more a claim to follow than instant hit for the charts. This potential made sign the band for Dindisc in September 1979, with Factory‘s blessing and support. The agreement included Saville as an in-house designer.

The first album recreated material from duo’s previous band; an eight-piece called The Id, formed in 1977 by the school and college friends with shared tastes on the new-wave/synth-pop-oriented music. They used to gig on the Merseyside area, where popularized ‘Julia’s Song.’ By the way, McCluskey and Humphreys involved in a side-project, VCL XI (named after changing into Roman numerals the VCL 11 valve’s diagram represented on Kraftwerk‘s “Radioactivity” album back cover). It allowed them to experiment in more intricate electronic possibilities. The Id finally disbanded. With the experience acknowledged and the musical influences of Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, and Neu!, O.M.D. was in the works to sign the sound of hooky, percolating synth-pop. They used Dindisc‘s advance to build their recording studio in Liverpool, The Gramophone Suite, and to hire Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper, who became full-time band members. They delivered the album to Dindisc by December 1979.

O.M.D: “Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” original sleeve by Martin Saville and Ben Kelly

The re-recorded version of ‘Messages‘ was the first U.K. top 20 for the band. The album reached the Top 30 in the U.K. Albums Chart. The Neuesque ‘Mystereality,’ the hypnotic ‘The Messerschmitt Twins‘, and the inflected Brazilian bossa nova, ‘Dancing, ‘ stand as brilliant gems for musical posterity. The art-cover by Peter Saville and Ben Kelly is an iconic design for the record industry, featuring multiple colour versions of a die-cut grid over orange inner sleeve.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” was the beginning of a quick succession of two albums throughout the year. “Organisation” appeared by the end of October 1980, which included ‘Enola Gay,’ the song providing the band’s international recognition. The U.S. release titled the album “O.M.D.,” collecting of the most relevant tracks from both, including the hit related to the plane carrying ‘Big Boy,’ the first nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Virgin remastered release in 2012 added few bonus tracks to the original, with a cover version of ‘Waiting For The Man‘ taken form of Lou Reed‘s composition ‘Waiting For My Man,’ included initially on The Velvet Underground‘s discography.

The late ’70s had sparse examples of music based on technology, a significant change of aesthetics. Shaking and radical proposals went from The Normal and D.A.F. to the early Human League, looking for the acceptance of the unbeatable post-punk and new-wave. Joy Division‘s ‘She’s Lost Control‘ redirected to some composite output while Ultravox was growing to reach its ‘Vienna‘ pop panacea. Gary Numan‘s Tubeway Army proved synth-pop could be number one with ‘Are “Friends” Electric?‘ Time for the sound of analog synthesizers had arrived to raid into the charts. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark was ready to introduce the melody on it and be a significant act for the genre with a row of catchy singles until the mid-eighties. “Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” is one of the records that sustained the so-called new sound of the eighties decade.

A warm suggestion

A sharing pleasure

Lawrence Guy debuts on British imprint Shall Not Fade with “The Sun Is Warm And Directly Above You,” a three-track EP released on Friday, February 21.

Lawrence Guy: “The Sun Is Warm And Directly Above You” EP (Shall Not Fade)

The London-based producer is known for his relentless devotion to samplers and field-recordings. He uses them on his elegant DJ sets and compiles on edits label Accidental Pieces as well spreads on his Rinse FM residency. He dedicates a “love letter” to these sound bits, allowing them to express himself. The rich diversity of samplers and the synthesizer are the perfect combination in his hands working for good.

Accurate, never pretentious but refined, he builds three tracks in house, activating piano mode key that riddles over the rhythmic pattern. The two instrumentals let the central for a vocal development. The title track of the EP is an invitation, a relaxing suggestion for sharing open space in amicable talk with friends under the warmth of the sun.

The Unconventional Challenge

Never going back

On February 22, 2010, Warp mainstay and Techno redirected to IDM duo Autechre-[æ] reached its tenth album, “Oversteps.” First available on Bleep.com and Japanese iTunes became a CD and deluxe vinyl option the next day.

Autechre: “Oversteps” (Warp,2010)

The abstract is always a concept difficult to explain semantically. Not only belongs to the universal meaning but blurs in vague descriptions when you try to come down the continuous of the participant elements of the perception to an understandable common language. It is the overwhelming colour of the absolute in Rothko‘s paintings. No words found because wordlessness is the meaning of his epoch. The same absolute you find out on Andy Warhol‘s bottle series a few steps away on other MoMA‘s room. Then you click a code to express your perception comparing both. The abstract and the serialization of a specific object tend to equalize in the same absolute result, apparently like ‘O=0.’

Musical terminology tries to describe concisely but goes unuseful. Autechre-[æ] music needs a comparative framework. It could be mathematics or its applied daughter, Physics, but it is going too far. Kinetic art is suitable. It contains movement perceivable by the viewer, whose changing perspective alternates different perceptions of the whole at once. Change the viewer for a listener, and you will get the code.

Autechre-[æ] suggests a musical object but never in a linear way. A synth line could be the anima, the first perception, but they always go deeper to the fundamental matter, to the constructing zone of it, where you can apply micro whatever, minimalism, and so on. If you got interested in quantic physics, you would perceive Penrose avoiding Copenhaguen Interpretation of quantic mechanics, assuming a system can be deterministic but not necessarily algorithmic. Then you go pleased with your conscience. It is an intimate pleasure, not easily transferable or shared.

Oversteps” emitted sonar signals out Autechre-[æ], exploring possibilities to go backward on their steps with hints of Techno and industrial beats. Still, I think they were joking with themselves with more accessible and predictable continuity in demand.

The Synth Pop reigned 1980

The sound of a new decade

On February 22, 1980, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark released the eponymous debut album through Dindisc, the Virgin Records sub-label.

The album “Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” came out preceded by ‘Electricity‘ single, which hit the stores in May 1979 as the Factory Records sixth reference (Fact6.) The duo from Wirral (Liverpool) had two months of life when Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys took the song for challenging sessions with producer Martin Hannett (as Martin Zero) at Cargo Studios.

They disappointed with his overproduced work. So, they re-recorded it at Strawberry Studios in Stockport (Greater Manchester) and dealt with Factory to release their version as A-Side with Hannett‘s production of ‘Almost‘ on the reverse. With regular plays on John Peel’s late-night show, B.B.C. Radio 1, added to the music media excellent response and the visual endorsement by Peter Saville‘s 7″ sleeve, the O.M.D. debut single was more a claim to follow than instant hit for the charts. This potential made sign the band for Dindisc in September 1979, with Factory‘s blessing and support. The agreement included Saville as an in-house designer.

The first album recreated material from duo’s previous band; an eight-piece called The Id, formed in 1977 by the school and college friends with shared tastes on the new-wave/synth-pop-oriented music. They used to gig on the Merseyside area, where popularized ‘Julia’s Song.’ By the way, McCluskey and Humphreys involved in a side-project, VCL XI (named after changing into Roman numerals the VCL 11 valve’s diagram represented on Kraftwerk‘s “Radioactivity” album back cover). It allowed them to experiment in more intricate electronic possibilities. The Id finally disbanded. With the experience acknowledged and the musical influences of Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, and Neu!, O.M.D. was in the works to sign the sound of hooky, percolating synth-pop. They used Dindisc‘s advance to build their recording studio in Liverpool, The Gramophone Suite, and to hire Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper, who became full-time band members. They delivered the album to Dindisc by December 1979.

O.M.D: “Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” original sleeve by Martin Saville and Ben Kelly

The re-recorded version of ‘Messages‘ was the first U.K. top 20 for the band. The album reached the Top 30 in the U.K. Albums Chart. The Neuesque ‘Mystereality,’ the hypnotic ‘The Messerschmitt Twins‘, and the inflected Brazilian bossa nova, ‘Dancing, ‘ stand as brilliant gems for musical posterity. The art-cover by Peter Saville and Ben Kelly is an iconic design for the record industry, featuring multiple colour versions of a die-cut grid over orange inner sleeve.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” was the beginning of a quick succession of two albums throughout the year. “Organisation” appeared by the end of October 1980, which included ‘Enola Gay,’ the song providing the band’s international recognition. The U.S. release titled the album “O.M.D.,” collecting of the most relevant tracks from both, including the hit related to the plane carrying ‘Big Boy,’ the first nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Virgin remastered release in 2012 added few bonus tracks to the original, with a cover version of ‘Waiting For The Man‘ taken form of Lou Reed‘s composition ‘Waiting For My Man,’ included initially on The Velvet Underground‘s discography.

The late ’70s had sparse examples of music based on technology, a significant change of aesthetics. Shaking and radical proposals went from The Normal and D.A.F. to the early Human League, looking for the acceptance of the unbeatable post-punk and new-wave. Joy Division‘s ‘She’s Lost Control’ redirected to some composite output while Ultravox was growing to reach its ‘Vienna‘ pop panacea. Gary Numan‘s Tubeway Army proved synth-pop could be number one with ‘Are “Friends” Electric?‘ Time for the sound of analog synthesizers had arrived to raid into the charts. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark was ready to introduce the melody on it and be a significant act for the genre with a row of catchy singles until the mid-eighties. “Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark” is one of the records that sustained the so-called new sound of the eighties decade.

Leifur James : “Wise Old Man”

A promising taste

The London-based producer and composer Leifur James announces his highly anticipated sophomore album, “Angel In Disguise,” which is due for release on April 24th via Late Night Tales original artist label Night Time Stories. The first single is ‘Wise Old Man,’ more than a promising taste.

On a few occasions, you have the certainty of listening to an exceptional track at once. It is a braided introduction, where synths to deep bass incorporating effects to rhythmic setbacks in vibrant percussion. Comparing with previous work, a signature structure from a classically trained musician who knows to harmonize. Suddenly the voice, reflective and melancholic, with the phrasing core “Wise old man in my brain, soul bursting through my veins.” Arppeggiated crescendo when rhythmic counterparts give enough space to flourishing details, and the voice again. It all comes back to a stripped version of the pattern’s basic unit, like nude thought, the skeleton of it. An emotive synth emerges to the fulfillment. It is all in balance, perfect, elegant.

Wise Old man‘ will turn you to Leifur James‘ debut album, “A Louder Silence,” released in October 2018. There was organic instrumentation in a blend of jazz with electronica. This time around, as far as we know, James is pure switched. Guess Whites producer, Coby Say, involved in the reworks of it, brother EP “A Louder Silence. The Remixes (2019),” as well as the included and excellent FaltyD remix of ‘Mumma Don’t Tell,’ would have suggested something.

As has been reported, “Angel In Disguise” has a long run to the release, probably enriched in visuals by Hungarian director, Balázs Simon, with whom Leifur James worked on “Wurlitzer,” a track introduced on piano and ended in techno through absorbing animated motion piece. The schedule also brings intimate showcases in The UK and European cities, starting in Copenhaguen in May, successively in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels, before heading to London and Manchester.

Leifur James : “Angel In Disguise” (Night Time Stories)