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Music

Latest Releases From Polytechnic Youth…

I was excited to receive the latest delivery at Electronica Towers, a double pack of vinyl from Polytechnic Youth. This included the newest 7″ from Tomorrow Syndicate, called Populous, and their latest compilation album, ‘Some Neon Reason’.

If you’re not aware of them, Polytechnic Youth is a label that releases short runs of electronic music, with a focus on retro, library-music and komische / krautrock inspired sounds on vinyl.

Tomorrow Syndicate – Populous

The first thing that you notice with release is the quality of the artwork, a fantastic, retro design by Nick Taylor, which really sets the tone.

Listening for the first time, I’m immediately taken back to the late 70’s, in a Buggles kind of way. After a brief flashback I’m pulled back into appreciating a great synth-pop track. It’s a little bit Krautrock, a little bit New Order, with a great video to accompany it too.

The vocals are laid back, delivered with subtlety, the drums are simple, yet solid. What gives this depth is the multi-layered synths, with great raw analog riffs adding layers of texture. Towards the end guitars punch through the mix adding some beef before the end chorus. It’s a great track.

The B-side starts with a bass-groove and strings before a couple of synth layers add to the mix, with melody again from synths. It’s dynamically well structured, and feels like a song, although in some sections transports me back to movie soundtracks of the 80’s.

Both sides of this release are great, I almost prefer the B-side, you’ll have to buy the release to give this a spin though. Do it!

Populous is available as a limited pressing of 300, which has probably already sold out. You can get a digital copy from Bandcamp.

Tomorrow Syndicate @ Facebook

Some Neon Reason – Further Adventures of the Polytechnic Youth

Some Neon Reason is a compilation and features tracks from Klaudyna Pop, VIB, Phil Wave, Recidive Noire and Soloist Anti-Pop Totalization.

According to Polytechnic Youth this was a collection of tracks that were planned to be released as a series of 7 & 12-inch releases, but due to COVID throwing the world into chaos, it was decided to release them as a compilation album. This release is a limited edition of 500.

First up is Phil Wave with ‘Hacking Sequence’. It starts off with a pulsing synth-bass, drums adding to the mix later before wavering synths add to a brooding texture. It’s all quite dark and menacing, my Mum wouldn’t like it at all. I think it’s pretty cool.

Next we have ‘Contempt’ by Klaudyna Pop, more synth bass intros with some great spoken vocals and synth riffs that happily sit over the jarring bass riffs. It’s a great alternative 3-minute synth-pop song.

The first of two extended tracks from VIB close side one. This one being more ambient in approach than the previous two tracks, which is a great contrast. Reminiscent of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, although a little edgier, a wonderful way to finish side A.

The second side begins with a great slice of French Synth Pop with ‘Marcello’ by Recidive Noire. It’s simple synth lines and drum machines with a wonderful retro groove. The breakdown in the middle provides a complementary distraction to something that sounds like great 1980’s DIY pop.

Soloist Anti-Pop Totalization is a great name for a band. It’s the work of Japanese musician Rikinari Hata who provides a more experimental approach to this compilation, with solid repetitive synths and drum machines underpinning effected vocal sounds. Another one my Mum wouldn’t like.

The compilation closes with another extended track from VIB, this one called ‘The Deep i’. Clocking in at over 12 and a half minutes it’s an epic track starting with looping industrial sounds before layers of synth building to create an intense psychedelic soundscape. Check it out below…

Releases from Polytechnic Youth don’t hang around for long so get yourself connected via Twitter or Facebook to keep abreast of what’s new…

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Music

Essential Kraftwerk – machinemusik

Kraftwerk are widely considered as one of the great pioneers of electronic music, laying the groundwork (groundwerk?) for the electronica that we know and love today. In this post we’ll be exploring some of Kraftwerk’s key repertoire to understand why they are so important to electronic music.

The Beginnings of Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider who met while studying at Düsseldorf Conservatory.

Here’s a live performance of Ruck Zuck from their first album in 1970.

Major Kraftwerk Albums

Autobahn (1974)

Kraftwerk’s first three albums showed how the band progressed from a live band with progressive and electronic elements to a duo with an electronic focus. Autobahn is where Kraftwerk really established itself as a serious electronic act (although they made good use of guitar and flute, as you can hear below), and set the tone for their future releases.

The title track is an epic track occupying the first side of the original LP. Here it is for you… “Wir fahren, fahren, fahren auf der autobahn”…

Trans Europe Express (1977)

Some say Trans Europe Express (1977) was their finest album. It’s certainly stood the test of time and inspired countless others, and has been sampled plenty. Check out the title track and Europe Endless below…

The Man Machine (1978)

The Man Machine was the album that confirmed Kraftwerk as pop songwriters as well as leaders in the electronic music scene. Tracks such as The Model and The Robots brought their music to a wider audience across the world…

Computer World (1981)

Computer World came as Kraftwerk were at the peak of their creative power, with each song being about computers, from Computer Love and Home Computer, to It’s More Fun To Compute. Here’s the brilliant Computer Love…

Kraftwerk’s Influence on Other Musicians…

Trans Europe Express, sampled here on Afrika Bambaataa‘s Planet Rock…

The KLF sampled Computer Love on What Time is love…

Talk, by Coldplay, used the main melody for Computer Love as the inspiration for their track…

Even Neil Young was influenced by Kraftwerk and produced this in the 1980s…

See Also…

Can

Faust

Neu!

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Music

Kevin Richard Martin – Frequencies for Leaving Earth

Kevin Richard Martin is an experimental artist who has previously released music as The Bug, King Midas Sound, and Zonal. He has now launched his own digital label, the fantastically named Intercranial Recordings, and has released three volumes of delicious ambient, drone music under the moniker ‘Frequencies for Leaving Earth’. These volumes were composed, mixed, and produced during the COVID lockdown period, where Kevin spent this surreal, intense time, rebuilding his studio and retreating into alternate sonic realities.

Volume 1 is epically slow. Three graceful tracks that are as beautiful as they are spiritual, existing in a glacial twilight zone, floating between drone, neo-classical, and extremely slo-mo jazz. Sounding like a score for a lost Tarkovsky film, the cavernous spaces between the notes are as seductive as the lush music within the album. It ’s three lengthy pieces are three variations on one haunting, melody…

Alternately Volume 2 is its inorganic opposite, Written for Shepard tone, mellotron and sub-bass. This second volume is far more austere, alien and foreboding, reveling in its praise of the Shepard tone and Kevin Martin’s ongoing obsession with scarce sci-fi scores.

The producer ventures further out sonically, into an extra terrestrial deep listening experience, that is fuelled on massive low end gravity and hypnotic tension, but retains a rich vein of soul amidst the tripped, electronic machinery.

It echoes disc two of Techno Animal’s ‘Re-entry’, the spectral ambiance of his debut album ’Sirens’ on Lawrence English Room40 label, and at times even sounds like the heaviest dubs applied to an updated BBC Radiophonic Workshop, by a latter-day Autechre…

Veering between hypnotic sedatives and tsunami-like tidal flows, the warmth of Volume 3 is tangible, and the melodic undercurrents are irresistible. Setting church organs adrift on a sea of sub-bass meditations, there is a captivating glow within these 7 molten movements, as they oscillate between breathtaking tension and goosebump release, throughout the profane explorations…

When Kevin jokes its “my gospel album”, it puts a smile on my face, but once fully immersed in these songs of praise and loss, who am I to disagree ….?

Undoubtedly Volume 3 contains some of the most beautiful pieces of music Martin has ever released.

In places sounding like a dream fusion of AFXs lushest melodies with Stars of the Lid’s most seductive sonic hymns, at other times sounding like Spacemen 3 stretched to infinity, the mood conveyed within this record is overwhelming.
Simply gorgeous.

https://kevinrichardmartin.bandcamp.com/

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Music

Supermachina – Let The Freaks Out

Supermachina is the work of Reinhard Koenig, a creator of electronic music as well as a professor for computational architecture. Reinhard follows procedural approaches in generating rhythms and melodies, rather than composing them in a traditional way. The result is some quite intense tracks that are glitchy in nature, abstract, and actually quite fun.

Let The Freaks Out is the latest EP release from Supermachina and is a collection of three tracks. It’s available now to stream on Spotify, alongside an album release and previous EPs. Previous releases from Supermachina are available as a free download on supermachina.de

You can listen to Let The Freaks Out below. We’ve also added Wrangle Your Bot to our Electronica Playlist.

https://supermachina.de/
https://www.facebook.com/SuperMachina20/
https://soundcloud.com/supermachina

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Music

Gilroy Mere – Adlestrop

Adlestrop is the latest release from Gilroy Mere, and released on vinyl, cassette and digital from Clay Pipe Music.

It’s a fascinating look back to a different world, a world of railway branch lines, village railway stations, and a bygone England.

Gilroy Mere traveled across the country visiting the sites of railways that used to exist, pre the infamous Beeching cuts of the 1960s. He recorded interviews and soundscapes along the way and integrated them into pieces of music inspired by his travels.

What results is a great album. The opener, Appendix 2, lists stations recommended for closure by Beeching, sung in a way that’s reminiscent of Scott Walker. The Age of the Train has the momentum of a train and gentle electronic rhythms propelling it forwards.

Adlestrop itself is a wonderful ambient soundscape with a narration taking the listener back to England of old. It’s all a wonderful experience, and a welcome addition to my vinyl collection.

It’s Gilroy Mere’s third release on the Clay Pipe Music label, and well worth spending some quality time with…

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Music

Confessor – Hold

Confessor, also known as Joachim-Titien Schildknecht, is an ambient music composer who works from his studio in Strasbourg, France.

Hold is his latest release, created over the last few months, and is very much a release designed to help you relax. It’s a wonderful, drifting collection of tracks to help soothe your soul in what has been for all of us I’m sure a testing year so far.

As Joachim himself says – “”Music is an emotional outlet to me, and this album makes no exception. “Hold” is basically a diary of these last months, an introspective wander which I hope you will enjoy. May it help you relax and drift into your inner landscapes.” -J-TS

Hold is release on the Healing Sound Propagandist Label, a subsidiary of Past Inside The Present. You can listen to and purchase Hold via Bandcamp…

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Music

Rival Consoles – Articulation

Articulation is a new six track album by Rival Consoles (aka Ryan Lee West), and follows on from the (third) single release from the album Sudden Awareness of Now a couple of weeks ago.

The Album was conceived visually and inspired by graphic scores utilized by composers such as Stockhausen, John Cage and Ligeti (who inspired the name of the album.

Ryan has published on his website a selection of drawings and diagrams that show his thought process and offline workings that go into making Articulation. You can see a couple of these below…

Musically, Articulation show’s Ryan in great form, from the techno styled opener Vibrations on a String, to the more laid back Melodia, featuring ambient sounds, electric piano textures and stuttering string effects.

Normal service is resumed with the spacey title track Articulation, and the epic closer of the album Sudden Awareness of Now.

Articulations is released by the fantastic Erased Tapes label. You can listen to it on Spotify below…

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Music Radio Shows

Kites and Pylons

Kites and Pylons is a radio show that harks back to a previous world. A world with public information films, a world with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, a world with only three tv channels, where you spend your days watching Open University and Crown Court if you’re too poorly to go to school…

Their latest show (as well as previous shows) is now available to stream on Mixcloud. It’s a wonderful blend of experimental electronica, ambience and modular wonderfulness…

Here’s the playlist from the show…

The Central Office of Information – On The Scene
Charlie Behrens – The Clicker
Luke Sanger – Mackerel Sky
Kolvin Lupr – Nice and Easy / Pinetum
Vagues Imaginaires – L’essor du Roraima
Long Distance Poison – Giving up on me
Green-House – Perennial Bloom / Sanseveira
Body Improvement Calendar – The end of the day
Floating Points – Kites
Joe Meek – Magnetic Field (excerpt)
Drew Mulholland’s Field Recording of Joe Meek’s Ampex PR10
Ben Winter – Surfacing

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Music Playlist

The Bigly

Follow The Bigly to discover great electronic music by new, established & unknown electronic producers…

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Music

Love Will Overcome – Osmunda Music

Love Will Overcome is the latest album release by Osmunda Music. Osmunda Music is the work of Rebecca Trujillo Vest, and is a wonderful collection of tracks following on from her debut ‘Munda‘.

This collection of tracks is a beautifully mellow experience, reminiscent of chilled-out ambience from the 90’s summoning memories of artists such as Morcheeba and Stereolab. Layers of vocals in tracks such as All The Love even create an effect that sounds like a heavenly Beach Boys harmony. We Are Starlight has an almost 1980’s vibe with heavily reverbed drums and percussion and spacey guitar effects.

Rebecca Trujillo Vest is originally from New Mexico, and now based in Venice Beach. She’s a multi-skilled musician, artist, songwriter as well as a self-described force of nature!

You can listen to the whole album below using the embedded Soundcloud player. Alternatively it’s available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Track 7 from her latest album is called ‘Be The Change’, and has a Madonna vibe to it. You can check out the video here:

Gracenote, the third track from Love Will Overcome is a wonderful meditative track with a great video featuring a ballet performance on the beach which makes me want to leave rainy England and move to California…

If you want to follow Osmunda Music here’s where you can go…

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