Category Archives: Deep Earth

Best of 2011, part II: Resurrection of the Synthesist

Given our name, it’s no secret that we gorge on electronic sound, be it discomforting or transcendent.  Guttural or sublime.

We’re forever wary of confirmation bias but this year does seem to have seen wave upon wave of synth based music.  Not just music that features a synth but music that’s built around the synth, great cathedrals constructed to encapsulate the idea of making synthetic sounds that by their design are alien and other.  Except, they’re not anymore.  Thirty years of indoctrination has made the music of the synths mean something else.  A piece of retro nostalgia at one moment, something transgressive the next.  Often extremely beautiful in that airbrushed way that was once cliche but now — as the world folds in on its credit default swapped self –seems aspirational; utopian.

So this then, is our loosely assembled collection of synth focussed tracks which, like a good Bela Tarr movie, create a world and give us time to think within its borders.


Jonas Reinhardt: Eos, the Dawn In 2011, Jonas Reinhardt returned to these warm zones: constantly maintained by solar winds and the unfathomably complex gravitational dance moves of the planets.

Speeding through the heavens of blue refracted light that bounce freely off of vast glassed worlds, before slowing to take in the cresting of a sun over its many orbiting bodies.  Eos, the Dawn holds itself in a perfect moment before the god of arpegiated synth pulses rises from her slumber to usher in a new day.  Below a strange planet populated by sentient piers springs into life, their symbiotic Wurlitzers emerging out of the wooden decks like budding flowers to pipe a salute to the new day.

Jonas Reinhardt – Eos, the Dawn

Buy: Music for the Tactile Dome


Gatto Fritto: S/T Beachy Head is a beautiful suicide spot in the Sussex coast not far away from Brighton. It is the place depicted in the front cover of Throbbing Gristle’s 20jazzfunkgreats, and soundtracked in a most foreboding manner in the selfsame record. It also seems to be a place that Gatto Fritto, one of the most accomplished sages of the neo-Kosmische diaspora has given some thought to. His Beachy Head is a wonderful quantum waltz that stares not at the maelstrom swirling below, but at a night sky above, where subtle shifts in the luminosity of the constellations reveal a soothing message of galactic rebirth.

Gatto Fritto: Beachy Head

Buy: S/T.


Eric Enocksson: Apan Ramble through the hazy palace of your past, and into a cellar of gentle ruins where you collect memories of those pets that grew up with you, and grew old and frail and one day, died.  Bask in the portentous sadness of a wordless farewell, sweetened by the remembrance of the joy that was, and your ability to love, which is also the root of all your tears.  Now picture a dynasty of galactic shepherds whose flock is of planets and constellations, and of the races that thrived and decayed and perished therein, their affection and ache as great as yours, but stretched over aeons of blackness, interrupted by a blinding light, once in a while, once in a while.

Across which echoes a song like this.

Erik Enocksson – IV

Buy: Apan.


Borden/Ferraro/Godin/Halo/Lopatin: FRKWYS Vol. 7 One of the many strands that compose our love of music made with synthesisers is its ability to describe nature in a medium that is completely abstracted from.  As the sounds become more sythesised the creator’s intent is more nakedly revealed and in this instance, the feeling of drifting into night — which let’s face it is pretty fucking abstract — is conjured from the minds of the song’s participants.  Droning waves of synths layer each other like laser coloured veils until more excited flourishes tweet their arrival like thousands of birds of pure light arising for the gloom.

Borden, Ferraro, Godin, Halo & Lopatin – Twilight Pacific

Buy: FRKWYS Vol. 7


Harald Grosskopf: Synthesist (Reissue) Picture the collection of delicate vibrations through which sound is transported across air as a nascent civilisation of golden-skinned homunculi toiling in barren lands, developing in a super-compressed evolutionary process a theory of the mind and language. If the stars are our destination, then we must be theirs, for they populate our sensory system with awe-inspiring structures that will thrive long after a supernova of silence has obliterated the system whence they arrived. Harald Grosskopf is the Deus-ex-Machina behind this beautiful infiltration, the all-knowing watchmaker that set this process in movement. He is their God, I wouldn’t be surprised if he became ours too.

Harald Grosskopf- Synthesist

Buy: Synthesist


Food Pyramid: Food Pyramid III Food Pyramid don’t (need to) mention anything eluding to German 60s/early 70s music in their email to us, but as with the Boredoms, Juan Atkins, Holy Fuck, Death in Vegas, Fuck Buttons, The Time and Space Machine, Deerhunter, Gavin Russom, Oneida, Lindstrom or P.I.L. – reading between the lines gives us great delight.

Food Pyramid – E-Harmony

Buy: Food Pyramid III.


S.C.U.M.: Again into Eyes When teenagers making epic industrial goth by way of southend on sea make a first album on Mute records team up with the combined production talents of Ken and Jolyon Thomas you might expect something interesting. Again into Eyes goes beyond anything you’d expect as a first album, beyond the combined age and wisdom of all involved. If this is their first offering, then personally we cannot wait for more.

S.C.U.M – Whitechapel

Buy : Again into Eyes


Rene Hell: The Terminal Symphony Rene Hell gives us large hadron collider tickets to an abstract universe where Andrei Tarkovski directed Tron, and Terry Riley teamed up with Aphex Twin to make the soundtrack. BLAM.

Rene Hell – Lighthouse Marvel

Buy: The Terminal Symphony.


Moon Gangs: S/T Moon Gangs  plug a whole array of synthetic apparatus into the output devices of our planetary sensory system, thus generating a tape, the latest episode in an invisible collection of factual documentaries through which generation after generation of stargazing weirdoes (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Terry Riley, Ligeti, Lindström, OPN, etc.) have attempted to reveal a truth that can’t be spoken.

Moon Gangs – Sea

Buy: S/T (sold out soz)


IFEEL Studio: Morgengruss III IFEEL Studio stretches fingers of gold into the core of the galaxy, and the deepest recesses of the human heart to grasp the mysteries of love, and scatter them into the wind. From these seeds grows a mighty tree under whose shadow we rest in a furious summer afternoon, eating cheese and bread like humble and satisfied shepherds, humming a melody of beauty and peace.

IFEEL Studio – Watching Stars Over The Rubicon Beltway

Buy: Morgengruss III


Zombi: Escape Velocity Escape Velocity is a new instantiation of our manifesto: numinous motorik disco for emergent new era cults, party music for the post-singularity hivemind, the blueprint of an interstellar motorway where a suicidal priesthood accelerates its sexy silver machines towards the ultimate event horizon.

Zombi – DE3

Buy: Escape Velocity.


Mist: House Mist’s House is a collection of prophesies about the day-to-day of our poly-mathematic future, and a tribute to the pioneering work of the Kosmische school that first calibrated its main parameters, and anticipated its sentiment.

In it, the fundamental relations in the science of harmony are expressed mechanically by marshalled regiments of numbers marching with irresistible power

Mist – Twin Lanes

Buy: House


Deep Earth: House of Mighty Deep Earth lash out with the pent-up energy of a zillion Zenta laser panthers as they lunge forward, not to snap your neck with mighty fangs of antediluvian vintage, but to carry you dangling from their mouth into exotic lands of strife and illumination like a psychedelic version of He-Man’s Battle Cat, dreamed up in some German progressive commune circa 1976.

Deep Earth – House of Mighty II

Buy: House of Mighty


Thug Entrancer: Case  Mounting a late surge into this list Thug Entrancer’s email popped into our swamp-like inbox linking us to Volume 1 and 2 of Tropics Mind.  Pulling in Carpenter synth workouts, Juke influences and more ambient meanderings they’re nothing if not superbly ambitions explorations of synth driven dance music.

Whereas initially they volumes seem arbitrary, volume 1 soon reveals itself as a finely honed, low key Juke inspired, bubbling gem.  With only Spiritual Growth losing the frantic rhythm of its peers, opting instead for a spot on the Carpenter/Goblin axis of tension/terror.  Volume 2 seems more focused on the aforementioned Carpenter/Goblin/(slowed)-Italo synth driven genre…we still haven’t got a suitable name for.  [We suck at genres]  From which Case comes.

Thug Entrancer – Case

Buy: Tropics Mind


Throbbing Gristle: all of it (re-mastered reissues) All of them.  On vinyl.  Get them now.  Even if they’re not really ‘synth’ albums — in the same way that David Lynch isn’t really a pop star.


Delightfully Odd Music

Featuring : Ben Aqua, Deep Earth + Lord Boyd

Deep Earth return to the pages of 20JFG with a track from their split with Food Pyramid (who took the time to leave a lengthy comment on Monday’s post — both post and comment are well worth reading).

Kontraband teases as a synth led Miami Vice Balearic stormer, all mid-2000’s slo-disco swagger.  Yet the Bladerunner synths that wash over tracts of the first third cast all that revivalist neon in a slightly odd glow.  If anything the entire track crumbles in on itself for an extended breakdown (in both senses of the word), taking in some almost minimalist Mediterranean shuffles and, is that an ever so slightly funky bassline in there?  That is before those mournful future noir synths surge back in on the back of a wonderfully deployed horn solo (thus playing into 20JFG’s secret love of horn sections in dance music — I’m looking at you Etienne Jaumet)

So, delightfully odd in a way that restores our faith in delightfully odd music.  So kind of Finders Keepers in 7″ form or, more prosaically: not a million miles from Aeroplane‘s debut and the promise that held.

Deep Earth – Kontraband

Kontraband as we may have mentioned, is a split with the awesome Food Pyramid.  Out on the equally awesome Moon Glyph Records.  Get it here.

This wondrous image was taken from the wonderful Sci-fi-o-rama and it’s by Kilian Eng

Another returning 20JFG shock-troops recaptures these pages, this time in the form of Lord Boyd.  Taking in all the foreign lands he’s conquered visited, Lord Boyd’s remix Time Wharp‘s Cuspcake pulls in the early house synth obsession from UK Bass, the chopped RnB from, well, modern RnB.  The original‘s chip-tune p-funk come blissed out end-of-level boss on a yacht (rock) made of cocaine…ness, is reshaped as something altogether more smooth.  Wonderfully hyperactive while seeming to glide through a parallax scrolling night of two-stepping possibilities.

Time Wharp – cuspcake [Lord Boyd rmx]

This is taken from the Later.RMX album available here.

Lord Boyd also has a track on Egyptian Maraccas curated comp of remixes from which this next track by Ben Aqua is taken.

SNAP’s new-age-y Rave anthem Exterminate is made to look positively somnambulistic as Ben Aqua manages the same trick as Lord Boyd above: marshalling a feeling of hyperactivity while simultaneously creating that molasses slow narcotic haze that would be quite terrifying divorced from the vocals and drum programming.  Something of the Weenknd’s mournful RnB drifts over the proceeding further dragging the feeling of speed in a dozen directions at once.  Multiple tempo changes later, the effect is dizzying.

In a good way.

Ben Aqua – Exterminate

As mentioned above this track’s taken from the Egyptian Maraccas remix album available here.

Lull the old one back to its ancient slumber

Featuring : Alex Barnett + Deep Earth

On 12 March 1981, a Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District maintenance team went missing in the city’s sewer system while investigating complaints about foul smells coming from the water pipes. Mary Ferraro, 61, had even found several dead rats floating in her toilet, drowned while attempting to climb up her house’s service pipes.

The rescue party assumed that the missing workers had lost their way in this old, incompletely mapped area of Chicago’s old sewage system. Nothing had prepared them for what they found in a 60 feet wide cavity connected to the main sewer interceptors through a narrow and tortuous tunnel.

In the damp soil of that chamber, over a pile of human bones two feet high, lay the bodies of the maintenance team, bloated as if from drowning. An autopsy revealed that their jaws were fractured, as if their mouths had been forced open with tremendous violence. Chemists at the University of Chicago Toxicology Department were unable to establish the chemical composition of the sludgy substance drenching their stomach and lungs. Samples are currently stored in a secure vault in the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA.

A carbon dating analysis revealed that some of the bones found in the chamber were between six thousand and eight thousand years old.

This ‘vault of horrors’, and the tunnel connecting it to Chicago’s sewer system have now been filled with concrete. No one knows what it is that dwelled there, or indeed, where it went after the ghastly events of late March 1981.

(Inspired by the Dyatlov Pass story recounted here, and the Chicagoan provenance of the two awesome acts that are featured below).

Moon Glyph have been supplying us with some seriously great motorik vibes in their latest releases – first it was Food Pyramid, now Deep Earth.

Deep Earth – House of Mighty II

House of Mighty II, featured in a tape going by the same name lashes out with the pent-up energy of a zillion Zenta laser panthers as it lunges forward, not to snap your neck with mighty fangs of antediluvian vintage, but to carry you dangling from its mouth into exotic lands of strife and illumination like a psychedelic version of He-Man’s Battle Cat, dreamed up in some German progressive commune circa 1976.

Alex Barnett’s ‘Try Harder’ sliced through our tender brains like a psychic blade poisoned with alien grit on a fateful Spring Night of 2010. Since then, the disease has spread, polluting our perceptual framework with simmering glimpses of a parallel reality that dissolves just as we are about to name it.

Unseen Forces haunt us. It is also the tune taking us to the next level of electronic terror of which this dude is the master. Visualise John Carpenter’s sonic language in three dimensional space as an abstract installation where the minimal commitment of the Bauhaus  is reconfigured into a threatening cat’s cradle of impossible angles, walk into its shifting belly because there is no other option, your footsteps morph into twisted shadows which dance to the pounding beat of this doom raga.

Alex Barnett – Unseen Forces

(The second visual was produced by 19th Century Poet/Medical Writer/Mystic Justinus Kerner, we found it at 50 Watts awesome Photostream.)