Origami Arktika – Absolut Gehor

It took me a minute or two to discover that the title of Origami Arktika's seven track album isn't a Norwegian phrase but a German one, translating as 'Absolute Hearing'. This is explicable by the fact that part of the Norwegian band's album was recorded at Einsturzende Neubaten's Berlin studio, in 2010, and if anyone is wondering why it has taken … [Read more...]

Irmin Schmidt – Villa Wunderbar (compilation)

With the Can archives now mined to within a tape canister’s width of the earth’s core thanks to last year’s The Lost Tapes and the newly-released vinyl boxset, time has come for some Can heads to start exploring individual band members’ solo and extracurricular works.  It probably makes sense then to start with keyboardist Irmin Schmidt’s wares … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#32 (Cyclopean’s Jono Podmore on The Voice Of America)

Cyclopean’s Jono Podmore on… Cabaret Voltaire’s The Voice Of America (Rough Trade Records, 1980) This is not a pretty record. Released in 1980 it generally gets regarded as ‘post-punk industrial’ – for good reason too.  Recorded at the band’s own studio, Western Works, housed in a disused Victorian industrial building in a forgotten … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#31 (Fuzzy Lights’ Xavier Watkins on Tago Mago)

Fuzzy Lights’ Xavier Watkins on… Can’s Tago Mago (United Artists Records, 1971) I'll always remember the first time I heard Tago Mago.  I was 15, sat in my then girlfriend's flat, trawling through her brother's LPs. He had a few other Can LPs, Soon Over Babaluma being one, but somehow the slightly Aztec-looking mushroom cloud face on the … [Read more...]

Cyclopean – self-titled EP

Reverence for the Krautrock idioms of yore has arguably never been bigger or so widely expressed than it is now.  With even the likes of Paul Weller developing a motorik affectation and the fervour surrounding last year’s boxset of previously unheard Can material, the importance of the genre's sonic trappings appears to be forever expanding.  But … [Read more...]

FAO#22: Kraftwerk – 12345678 The Catalogue (reissues)

Although retrospective eyes regularly fall upon Kraftwerk for the group’s profound impact upon the music world as we now know it, we should not neglect re-examining the actual recorded body of work produced by the Düsseldorf pioneers.  Sure, we can forever play a spot-the-Kraftwerk-influence game when analysing the good, bad and plain ugly of … [Read more...]

Tortoise (Doug McCombs interview and albums guide)

Despite nearly two decades of activity, Chicago's Tortoise continue to sustain an awkward yet alluring sense of mystery.  Consequently, for many it has become all too easy to define Tortoise by well-merged collective influences (Miles Davis, Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, John Fahey, Ennio Morricone, Gang Of Four, Augustus Pablo, Brian Eno, Tom Verlaine, … [Read more...]