Pye Corner Audio Black Mill Tapes Volume 5: The Lost Tapes In the beginning, there was just a box of tapes and “Fate’s Gentle Hand.” It was the autumn of 2010, and an anonymous figure known only as the Head Technician, an employee of Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services (“Magnetically aligning ferrous particles since 1970”), found himself at an auction in the village of Coldred, pop. 110. He was on the hunt for tobacco pipes when he chanced across a trio of boxes listed in the auction catalog, which described their contents only as “archived magnetic recordings.” The sole bidder, he won the lot, and upon receipt of his purchase took possession of an unspecified number of mouldering cassettes and ¼" reel-to-reel tapes. The collection contained no identifying information save for a single phrase scrawled on each box: “Black Mill Sessions.” And so, armed with razors, eyedroppers, and a bevy of solid-state circuitry, the Head Technician sat down at his machines and got to work. Whether anyone believed it or not, this was the framing device surrounding Pye Corner Audio’s Black Mill Tapes Volume I: Avant Shards, which took the mysterious tactics of artists like Boards of Canada and Burial and raised them exponentially. Much like the narrator of a 19th century novel, the anonymous Head Technician purported merely to be the messenger of secondhand sounds. These were not compositions, we were told; they were tape transfers—“transcriptions” of an unknown author, slathered Lapsus Records LP
Pote A Tenuous Tale Of Her Poté (Sylvern Mathurin) is St. Lucian-born, London-bred and Paris based, electronic artist and A Tenacious Tale Of Her is released on Bonobo’s label OUTLIER label. With an impressive, unique sound, his new album is written as a theatrical play, a theme which also leans into the creative direction behind his record. The first single ‘Young Lies’, taken from the album, features musician and singer, songwriter, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz. Poté has formally created remixes for the likes of Gorillaz’ ‘Trans’ and Little Dragon’s ‘Hold On’. OUTLIER CD | LP
Visionist A Call to Arms Visionist’s first release for Mute is a hypnotic elegy. A Call to Arms is Visionist’s third album release and where previously the artist used his vocals as samples, we hear his singing voice in the form of song and lyric for the first time. Along with the addition of Visionist’s vocals, the album is host to a varied list of collaborators including Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux) and Morgan Simpson (Black Midi). For Visionist (aka Louis Carnell) each album is a chapter in a bigger storyline, and this new album builds upon 2015’s debut, Safe [PAN] and its follow up, Value [2017 / Big Dada Recordings]. Carnell says, “With every project I want to test myself, so with this ethos, I expand the landscape of sound I have created over the years. On A Call to Arms I have furthered my musical direction in terms of collaboration in order to bring new layers of sonics, dynamics, energies and ideas.” Mute CD | LP
POLE Fading Both LPs include a download code. Pole is the project of ground-breaking electronic musician Stefan Betke. The new album Fading is the first since 2015’s Wald. As with every new Pole record, it’s part of a continued forward trajectory but it also connects to a pre-existing sonic framework. “Every Pole record connects to recordings that I've made before,” Betke says, “in order to stay in this kind of vertical development. The ideas from 1, 2, 3 up to now are connected. I keep the interesting elements, languages and vocabulary that I designed and add new elements.” Fading follows the physical released on Mute of remastered versions of his iconic albums 1, 2, 3 to much acclaim. Mute CD | LP
Ratgrave Rock Max Graef and Julius Conrad are Ratgrave. Rock is their second album - ongoing transmissions of Electronic P- Fusion from Earth. It follows a stellar debut on Funkineven’s imprint Apron. The duo’s sound palette draws inspiration from 80s funk, soul, rock and electronic but through a contemporary lens from two versatile multi- instrumentalists. Max Graef has previously collaborated with Glenn Astro on records for Ninja Tune and both artists have previously released on Tartelet. This marks the fourth official album on Black Focus, a London label founded by Kamaal Williams. Black Focus CD | LP
Mild Minds MOOD Mild Minds is the Grammy nominated brainchild of Benjamin David. He first started creating music at 13 in his home of Australia, and has since found himself as the creative force behind several successful artist projects. Now, with Mild Minds, David has been able to find solace in returning to his dance music roots, creating a project without pressure and expectation. Along with the first single ‘Movements’, which sees his soothing vocals floating across the tracks danceable synths and smooth percussion, Benjamin is set to release his much anticipated full length LP in 2020 via Foreign Family Collective / Counter Records. Mild Minds makes a worthy return to Counter Records, delivering a sun-kissed, piano-led club groove featuring the soulful voice of Boats. ‘Walls’ is a deep, spacious house groove defined by shuffling shakers and mellow kick drums, forming a perfect base for the emotive, ascending harmonies provided from the piano. Delicate synth arps chime in and help to form a blissful backdrop for Boats to bring his incredible vocals to. Counter Records LP
Plaid Peel Session 2 One of several Peel Sessions recorded by Plaid. This one from their Rest Proof Clockwork album era features all unique material including live favourite Elide. Warp Records release WXAXRXP Sessions featuring ten specially selected sessions recorded for radio from across the history of the label, from the very early days right up to the WXAXRXP x NTS weekend. In the age of immediate, unelected, often low-quality rips of anything that is broadcast, these releases present each session in the highest quality adorned in beautiful packaging designed by Michael Oswell. Warp 12"