Trees Speak – self-titled

On its surface, this 15-track album from a band which appears to originate from the vicinity of Phoenix, AZ is a deeply obscure post-rock experiment, with Trees Speak referencing ensembles that some of you may have heard of (the coincidentally German groups Cluster, Harmonia and Neu!) and others that are certainly unknown to me until now (Beak, … [Read more...]

Autobahn – The Moral Crossing

Looking at Autobahn's second album, its darkly mordant sleeve, the band's name, the post-industrial and gothic connotations that these inevitably provoke, it would seem only too easy to dismiss the Leeds band as Eighties revivalists, re-configuring the riffs and lyrical themes of the likes of Killing Joke, Sisters Of Mercy and indeed Joy Division, … [Read more...]

Beaches – Second Of Spring

I will admit that Beaches were only vaguely known to me until quite recently, their name jumbled together alongside Best Coast and Beach House and one or two other similar bands whose music would appear every so often in my streaming playlists and whom I had decided were at least listenable. Some will know of them from their 2013 album She Beats … [Read more...]

Metamono – Warszawa b/w Shafty 7″

Not content with justifiably basking in the glory of compiling last year’s brilliant Can boxset and debuting new material with Cyclopean (alongside Burnt Friedman, Irmin Schimdt and Jaki Liebezeit) in the space of the last year, Jono Podmore returns again already with his retro-futuristic analogue electronica operation Metamono.  Together with … [Read more...]

Can – The Lost Tapes (boxset)

With the influence of Can seemingly reaching its highest watermark right now, it’s somewhat inevitable that a long-awaited trawl of the band’s archives has finally come to fruition.  Although a reissue campaign in the early-to-mid-2000s for Can’s official album catalogue put the group’s legacy into good working order with strong yet sympathetic … [Read more...]

Pulp – It, Freaks & Separations (2012 reissues)

Since belatedly finding fame on the back of 1994’s His ‘N’ Hers, Pulp founder Jarvis Cocker has often had an ambivalent and strained relationship with his recently reunited band’s early catalogue.  For Cocker, the hard slog of Pulp’s protracted formative phase against the backdrop of dole-stricken poverty, critical/commercial indifference, multiple … [Read more...]

Tarwater – Inside The Ships

Although it can be wrong to lump together and describe a music scene from one nation, particularly when its artists might be spread across several cities, record labels and generations, sometimes when collective traits are highlighted in a positive light it can be considered acceptable. In terms of the German electronic and experimental fraternity, … [Read more...]

Qluster – Fragen

It’s hard to think of many musicians with a 40+ year career sustaining inspirational creativity whilst retaining much of their original modus operandi, but Hans-Joachim Roedelius is certainly one of those gifted few. A genuine grandee amongst Germany’s pioneering and close-knit experimental musical community since the late-‘60s, the septuagenarian … [Read more...]

Mutant Beatniks – Blazen

As the electronic music scene continues to re-invent itself, it all too often arrives at some very familiar destinations; at the same co-ordinates which Giorgio Moroder and Ralph Hutter took as their startpoints in the late 1970s. Essentially, the monophonic repeated note, performed at varying frequencies, remains the basis of the electropop world … [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...]