Tag Archives: Digitalis Recordings

Black Radiophonic Star

Featuring : Peter Mannerfelt

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We dream in a cave, thick and dark at the centre of a black world.  In our slumber we hear the thunder of the earth and the delicate electric sounds of the rain.

A sentience outside, in the darkness.  Moving against the thin differences in shade that mark out the horizon; two black voids broken only by that Cyclopean hulk.

Dawn breaks.  There is colour and shape and it begins in the heavens.  The air vibrates with the resonant frequency of a black meteoric star.

In our dream we hear the opening march for John Carpenter’s Dune.  A Dune of class war and political machinations, with religion but a thin veneer of convenient superstition.  Rudy Wurlizter’s Dune basically.  A Dune of darkness, of struggle and night.

And from within our dream, within our cave, we conjure a world where Delia Derbyshire and Gavin Russom formed a supergroup and called it Peder Mannerfelt.

Peder Mannerfelt – Lines Describing A Circle

And then we work up.

Lines Describing Circles is taken from the album of the same name.  It’s out now on Digitalis and you can get it right here.

Praise the Sun!

Featuring : physics

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The sun’s stumbled drunkenly through the door, muttering incoherently about being late. How it’s very sorry; lost track of the time; won’t do it again.  And we sigh and forgive it because with the windows open and the heating off we can indulge in late night communiques with the stars.  The most ethereal of music can flourish without the wind ripping it from the sky.

The arrival in Brighton of the sun can do funny things to a city built around the summer.  Tables bud around pubs and artisan ice cream shops visibly relax on their foundations — once again confounding nature by making it through the winter.  Everything is as it should be for the next six months and 20JFG goes cosmic.

[PHYSICS] continue a long line of essential electronic works from Digitalis.  It is Ultimate L, the last track on their album that concerns us here.  A symphony of falling galactic dust clouds.  Their vast shapes dancing around nebulas in infinitely slow motion.  The light of a billion stars picking out endless new, twinkling forms.  A soundtrack to the heavens in all its angelic glory.  Faint voices of Earth travelling through it on abandoned radio waves.  It is music that is at its best when the world is still and the sky is clear and all earthly conditions are controlled for.

[PHYSICS] – Ultimate L

[PHYSICS] album Spectramorphic Iridescence is out now on Digitalis.  You can get it from Boomkat here.

Universal Pagan

Featuring : Leven Signs

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We’ve written before about the time travel potential of this blog.  More Chris Marker than Doctor Who, admittedly, but there never fails to be a mental jolt backwards (or forwards) as a new album drops into our mailbox.  This time it was the wonderful Digitalis Records who knocked us back 27 years or so with their reissue of Leven Signs’ Hemp is Here.

Hemp is Here forces together baroque, sometimes psychedelic, organ playing with eastern percussion to form a sort of post-psych — to compliment their contemporaries’ post-punk.  There are moments of supreme repetitious beauty that would be perfectly home on any Digitalis release.  And I guess that’s the point.  This doesn’t so much as transport us back, but folds time; stitching the experimentalism of the mid 80s with their contemporaries.

Leven Signs – Prague Spring

Prague Spring seems to draw within its environs These Marble Giants, Severed Heads and Antenna.  Almost whimsical folk allied to detached, glacial vocals.  Dusty eastern percussion jarring with the damp stone temples evoked by the organ that occurs throughout the album.  It’s a strange place that Leven Signs create, for sure.

Hemp is Here  is being reissued by Digitalis in February.  You’ll be able to get it early via Boomkat but there’s no link yet.

The Hauntology of Tiles

Featuring : Discoverer

 

This member of 20JFG is currently in the process of destroying and rebuilding his new home (seemingly atom by atom).  There are places that haven’t seen light since the 30s.  Features that have been unceremoniously buried beneath blankets of white paint, their crisp geometric forms blurred and shrouded.  Stripping this away — gently scraping the decades from the polished surface of hand cut tile — felt like bypassing the allegory in The Stone Tape and mainlining the intent of the architects.

Renovation makes a mockery of the evolutionary process of neglect.  That only the constantly prized will survive the destructive forces of disinterest.  That we see the best in the past because the intervening years have shielded us from the weak ideas and failed executions.  Which is, of course, all relative.

Discoverer has managed to glide on some astral expressway to the discotheques of Jupiter.  Where, like Mozart at the Vatican, he’s mentally stored the sacred music and recreated it back on Earth.  Being so far from the sun’s musical furnace Jupiter’s only now getting round to Freestyle.  Though with the gravity they’ve got over there, its hyperactive movements are slowed into a hypnotic waltz.

Tunnels is the result, a marriage of primitive Techno and incantation.  Voices, cut so much they speak in tongues.  Usually utopian synth washes pitch-blend in and out of the fog like clear blue spectres of clarity amidst the narcotic daze.  All of this forms a relentless chemical reaction, plunging ever onward.  The fades that start and end the track indicating that we’ve only glimpsed its motion for a while as it burrows ever on.

Discoverer – Tunnels

Tunnels is the title track from Discoverer’s second album.  It’s out today on Digitalis and from Boomkat.

Ballard of the Unseen Movie

Featuring : Altar Eagle

Altar Eagle is the alter ego of Brad Rose and Eden Hemming.  Digital Gold Futures is the second track from their album, Nightrunners.  And we shall be discussing this today.

New dawn fades in here, over blue concrete husks.  The sort of dawn that causes one of Ballard’s pulp Sci-Fi heroes to remark on the clockwork madness of their own universe — whilst barely concealing their sexual desire for whatever is left alive.

Digital Gold Futures clamps (classic) 4AD firmly to Eden’s golden voice as it reaches out across the rooftops.  It starts off grand and choral and actually gets more personal, small and triumphant as it processes.  Like a camera traversing valleys of concrete, glimpsing the horizon between the towers.  Then falling down past glass and steel until it rests by the side of the road where the beat picks up the gait of our hero as he makes his way towards an uncertain future.  And everyone’s cool with that.

It’s as if we’ve missed the movie and walked in on the credits.  Mann — 20JFG’s favourite son when it comes to existential, grand, synthetic landscapess — has just delivered another rumanation on masculinity, cities and destiny.  But we see only the aftermath, caught in the cathartic moment for 4 minutes, quite splendidly out of context.  After all, this is only track 2.

Altar Eagle – Digital Gold Futures

Altar Eagle’s Nighrunners is out now.  Digitalis themselves are sold out but you can grab it from Boomkat here.  You can also stream the whole thing here.

The

Featuring : The Slaves

A bite sized portion of 20JFG for Friday, this week.  Low on musings on bankers and the mysteries of the universe; high on choral doom and a sense of ritual dread.  Pretty much home territory for us then.

The always wonderful Digitalis bless us once again with The Slaves’ album Spirits of the Sun.  Four tracks of the sublime, unnerving and apocalyptic.  As if Herzog was knocked out of phase and Popul Vuh had to soundtrack it.  Instead of allowing the physical world to reflect the inner chaos and madness of his anti-heroes, he instead partly submerges in the abstract terror at their heart; half burning reels of film and generally losing his mind instead of constructing epic vistas of pathetic fallacy.

111 begins the album.  Its choral harmonies, awesomely beautiful and sad.  As they range over a rocky monochrome landscape the static rain of layers of guitar feedback seems to hammer on the world.  That is, until it silences the voices and floods your ears.  If we began, hearing the last ritual of some ancient church, alone on a wild precipice, then we end with nature’s complete assault and eventual infiltration of its primitive structure.

The Slaves – 111

The Slaves album Spirits of the Sun is out next week (24/7/12) on Digitalis and Boomkat on vinyl.  You can get it now digitally from here.

Drive-by.

Featuring : German Army + Paco Sala

We enjoyed Drive as a modular collection of beautifully shot set pieces that could have been reordered in many a way. Its story didn’t matter, and neither did its characters (except for Brian Cranston, for sure).

Contrary to most of our friends, we didn’t enjoy the use of music in the film. Telling us what to feel at particular moments through the songs’ lyrics wasn’t too subtle. Of course, this doesn’t apply to Chromatics’ Tick of The Clock, which made us lay back in a stylishly deluded Michael Mann fever, or to Cliff Martinez’ stuff.

We also learned that it is physically possible to burst someone’s skull if you push hard enough, even if you aren’t a Locust warlord. Good going Ryan.

Anyway, here you have a couple of extra scenes that were deleted from that extended version of Drive that circulates through the lost highways of our imagination, in the spirit of modularity that we referred to at the beginning.

Firstly, the German Army outtake, which would have seen Ryan take an unexpected detour during one of his nocturnal motoric escapades, into the back lot of a meat processing warehouse, to rummage methodically through containers full of offal with that wholesome, somewhat absent smile of his, looking for an external manifestation (or exit) from that strange place within his head where all the violence comes from.

German Army – Cannibals Crawling

The sounds of German Army are legion, here they camouflage themselves in a Carpenterian fog, through which we squint at geometrical silhouettes sliding in a tectonic dance, the tonality is blue, the mood even elegant, if it wasn’t for that pervasive whiff of putrefaction.

Cannibal’s Crawling is included in the ‘Parte do Corpo’ tape coming out in Electric Voice. You can also buy the sounds, like we did, at this Bandcamp.

Secondly, Paco Sala’s contribution, which sketches with eternally liquid indigo an aural icon, dare-we-say totem, for Ryan’s otherwise materially mediated existence (the car and its engine, the scorpion jacket, the mask), an emotion that fluctuates within and beyond the fixed spatial parameters of that which can be designed, and thus, commoditised.

Perhaps a revenant of soft & tender curves floating ahead of his windshield, tantalising close yet unreachable, regardless of speed and mileage.

Paco Sala – Legacy Edition

Paco Sala’s ‘Ro-me-ro’ induces abstract truths from the personal epic of the people of the city, and re-renders them into bass, pitch, riddim and ululation, like Balinese shadows projected at the back of the discotheque by a light that cannot be found.

It’s out on Digitalis, and you can buy it from Boomkat.