Category Archives: International Feel

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.

Buy: ALL THE THINGS

The Harrihauseniad

Featuring : International Feel

Last time we went sailing across the Adriatic after that sliver of Mediterranean Sun which according to the legends is the key to an Eternal Life, or a joy such that Death becomes but a flat tire in your trip somewhere awesome, we stumbled upon a glimmering maelstrom which made us think of Edgar Allan Poe, if only he had been raised amongst rows of Californian orange trees instead of gloomy Maryland moors.

You don’t waste the chance to go into the maelstrom, so down we spun ponderously, down towards the bottom of the sea, where we found Neptune sleeping majestic, tired for lack of worship, but majestic still. The commander of our vessel, a veteran of the war, smuggler of African goods and part-time poet thought we’d better leave the slumbering god an offering to ensure a propitious rest of the trip. A glass of homebrewed grappa and shellfish from our pantry, an ancient lullaby sung in a foreign language, all the prettier for it.

We left him there snoozing and sailed away, we never found what we were looking for, but ever since then the creatures of the ocean have been good to us.

IFEEL Studio – Watching Stars Over The Rubicon Beltway

IFEEL Studio’s forthcoming 12’’ 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, and humming a melody of beauty and peace.

Hear the other side at Altered Zones.

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: The Atlantidan Metaphysical Circus

Lo and behold the starwanderers as they continue their ramblings inside a box of black space lined with gold thread, chronological boundary for the holy year that was 2010. Here we report the risky explorations that over this  period tore asunder the walls of reality to fetch from the amorphous manifold beyond nutritious morsels of quantum pop which which we watered our garden and fed the livestock. Such were the strange flowers that grew thereafter, and the ancient tongues with which our beasts proclaimed.

Ariel Pink and his Haunted Graffiti: Before Today. News at 11. Pop prophet transforms utopian fish into crumbling DIY bread, masses flock  to worship at his bedroom temple.

Ariel Pink & His Haunted Graffiti- Fright Nights (Nevermore) (Posted on April 21)

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Arp – The Soft Wave.  Cluster and Eno and Rilley and Georgopoulos.  Ringside seats in an amphitheatre at the edge of time.

Arp – Pastoral Symphony: I. Dominoes II. Infinity Room (posted September 3rd)

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Arp and Anthony Moore: FRKWYS Vol. 3. Lullabies for wide-eyed children destined for polymathematic stardom.

Arp and Anthony Moore- Spinette (posted on April the 5th)

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CFCF: The River. Mies Van der Rohe built an exquisite Canal de Amazonia to make Fitzcarraldo’s job easier.

CFCF- The River (Piano Version) (Posted November the 8th)

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Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom – Track 5.  In everyone’s life there’s one album that has a disproportionate pull on you.  Something that, ‘objectively’ is very good, but which has an almost supernatural hold on you above and beyond that. An album which can evoke pure moments of transcendent bliss.  Imagine if, after five years a missing piece was released.

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom – Track 5 (New Post)

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Hounds of Hate: Head Anthem. Organic ghost machine music that circles the sleeping victim like a shadow pygmy tribe armed with ancient spells of compelling abstraction.

Hounds of Hate- Purple Stuff (Posted November the 2nd)

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Hunx and his Punx: Gay Singles. Nuggetbagging, rather than teabagging. John Waters would be proud.

Hunx and his Punx- U Don’t Like Rock and Roll (New Post)

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Hype Williams: Find Out What Happens When People Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Reel.

Perchance the last addition to these terminal celebrations, and a timely one. Hype Williams have animated 20jazzfunkgreats séances with feeric liquors over which glide pixies imported from Chicago and Kingston, shouting their wares in a cloud of voodoo tags. Their gift is a graphic novel of panels that blur in Steranko fever. Sade drowns in an ocean of pavement syrup, while the chaotic transmissions of a thousand pirate radios converge in the neon sky above, like a Batman sign for much darker heroes

Hype Williams- The Throning (new post)

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International Feel: The Coptic Sun.That apocryphal chapter of Invisible Cities that Italo Calvino wrote under the influence of a particularly strong strain of Peyote, or the destination point of Conan’s pilgrimage if Thulsa Doom was only a conduit into the psychedelic stargate, rather than a dirty reptilian worshipper.

International Feel: The Coptic Sun (Posted September the 30th)

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Male Bonding: Nothing Hurts. Mixtape fodder for teenage punk heroes.

Male Bonding- Weird Feelings (new post)

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Mi Ami: Steal your Face. A growing crescendo calling out across decades of electric guitars, rusting in the salt heavy sea air.

Mi Ami- Dreamers (Posted April the 9th)

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Paul Rosales: Wonder Wheel I.  ‘Crimes’ is exactly the sort of thing we wanna hear when we’re selling out, its unselfconsciously wrought unplanned energy is our 20 inch rims, its atonality is our leather dashboard which we caress whilst cruising illicit streets to do deals with shadowy figures who hand us parcels full of the highest grade low fidelity shit which we now sell to you at the vastly inflated price of £0

Paul Rosales- Crimes (Posted July the 8th)

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Plug: S/T. This is our minimal wave. DIY electro-pop to take over your life.

Plug- Don’t Forget It (New Post)

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Pocahaunted: Make it Real. Block rocking beats that Big Daddy Kane could have freestyled over as delivered by the Shaggs’ feral skull faced reverse.

Pocahaunted- Make it Real (posted May 17)

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Skeletal System – s/t & Small Talk.  This is our dream-pop: full of watery ill defined shapes and haunted guitar lines.  Will surely be placing highly on Peel’s Festive Netherworld 50.

Skeletal System – Dialogue (posted April 23rd)

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VA: Deutsche Elektronische Musik. The sounds that rebuilt Germany, and built us.

Gila- This Morning (Posted May 11)

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As a bonus, we leave you with Harrison Owen’s video for Excepter’s Anastasia, included in The Late EP in Woodsist, riding the razor edge between sex and violence in the best tradition of the Psychoterrorist squad that taught us all, and the most fucked up of all transcendental meditators (circa Nadja, and pumped on colour).

We wish you a twisted transition across the no-man’s land between Christmas and the end of the Year, we shall be waiting for you on the other side.

Riddelz Three

This week’s guest writer is Granitas of Legend from the cult TV hit Knightmare. Granitas is not only a very powerful wall manifestation, but also a seeker of truth and a keeper of objects. His hobbies include pub quizzes, dry stone walling and he served a short time in the territorial army. He began his career as a damp patch in a bedsit in Bedfordshire, but his big break came when he was spotted on the set of a Mike Leigh film, during an extras role as an ATM machine. Due to contractual obligations, we must try and answer his 3 questions correctly, or face an afterlife of unthinkable torture and eternal entrapment in the Dungeon of Confusion.  Take it away, Granitas!

“I am Granitas of Legend.  I have riddles of different times, of different legends.  Three riddles have I, and truth I seek.  One truth will pass you, two may aid you and three commands me.  Due to Fail all three AND I FEED ON YOU!

Here is my first.

What is the record, soon to be released on International Feel by a mysterious artist, that represents the journey into the Rainforest of Metal, where clockwork lovebirds emit shards of pure electricity, where the sky shades of pure granite, where ominous clockwork warrior dance a mechanik tango into an clangorous crescendo of pure voodoo. Give me the name of this platter and where I can pre-order it?

Unknown Artist – Turmerica

Truth accepted. International Feel is really shaping up to be one of the labels of the year isn’t it. Here is my second.

What is the record by the awesome Svarghi, soon to be released on Space.Recs, which is the soundtrack to presentation of a new galaxy to the collector of worlds, in his temple alight with the flames of infinity, where shimmering fabrics stitched from time itself are rippled by the incantations of his disciples as the pass with his gift. What is the name of such magic?

Svarghi – Replant

Truth accepted. As a seeker of truth I also know that the equally cosmic masterpiece Ominous can be heard on the Space Recs myspace . Here is my third.

What is the name of the record by 10-20, out now on Highpoint Lowlife, that is the sound of a swarm of expressive marks from a Jackson Pollock painting travelling across land and sea in the hour of apocalypse, the record of this vibrating cluster that passes through the Motor City of the sixties, and envelopes its musicians to form an unstoppable torrent of undulating soul? Give me the name of this piece.

10-20 – Halogen

Truth accepted.

Three is the score.  You may know more.  Justice lies on the right but he who seeks it must be fleet of foot.  I hunger, yet we may meet again.